Done

I completed my LASH (long ass section hike) today. It’s been a hectic week and a half. On Tuesday September 8th we were hit but an early season snow storm. It caused us to hunker down until Friday September 11th when we escaped.

So instead of hiking it all southbound I flip-flopped from mile 2213 to my planned endpoint at Cuba NM at mile 2362 and hiked northbound.

Today I arrived back at mile 2213 and the scene of our three day snow blockage. Finally I was done hiking. I have hike 1060.6 miles and Justin and I are now heading home to Austin.

We got 12-15” of snow and 4-6” the next day. My tent was behind the Jeep but the second and third nights I slept in the Jeep while Justin slept above. (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)
At the spring 15 miles south if Cuba NM where I ended my 2016 thru-hike. (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)
Happy to complete the long-ass section hike. What remains is about 1250 miles from South Pass City Wyoming to Glacier National Park and the Canadian border

So much so little

So much has happened since I last posted. Each night I check for cell signal and nada. I’ve been taking pictures to post but I’ve forgotten why I took them. All I can say is I’m still hiking and I’m almost done with the grand state of Colorado. The mountains have been very tough. So much so that I’m taking a zero day (no hiking) in Pagosa Springs CO today to recover. Then tomorrow I’ll have about 70 miles and I’ll be in New Mexico.

Watch the trail as it snakes up the mountain. Taken 8/14.
Justin opening a can of green bean with the only tool he could find – a hatchet!
Early morning cairn marking the trail near a summit. Taken 8/27

Passing by Rocky Mountain National Park

We didn’t have time to do much planning. Justin and I live one day at a time. So when he tried to get a wilderness pass to hike in RMNP we were unsuccessful. Instead there is a bypass AKA an alternative which I slack packed today. As I rounded a corner I came upon a moose and her moosling (cow and calf). Quickly I snapped this picture and moved on. All the moose that I’ve encountered so far are not frightened of people so they do not run away. Instead these massive animals just stand there and stare back at you.

Moose cow and calf in Rocky Mountain National Park

See that mountain in the distance

I’m going to climb Parkview mountain which is in the distance and 12296 ft above sea level. It took me 5 long hours to climb.

The second picture is from the top. The nose strip helps me breath the rarified air.

Now to descend down the knife edge for miles.

See the peak in the distance. Well I’m going to be climbing it shortly.
Just summited Parkview peak.
Descent down the knife-edge.

Natural beauty

As you hike along the views are extraordinary.

The morning starts with no clouds. Then over time clouds begin to appear. Around noon and later in the afternoon the clouds can become threatening. They may even rain. By evening they’re gone. And it starts over again the next day. It’s “monsoon season“.

Afternoon clouds, leftover snow, up high, see for miles
Mountains and lakes.

Up high

The trail is getting higher. I’m typically over 10,000 feet above sea level. For someone from Austin TX which is near sea level I’m still not fully adjusted. I find it is especially difficult getting enough oxygen when climbing. There are times when I have to just stop and try to gulp in enough air.

The view from the trail.