Friday, September 20, 2013

Wonderland Trail 2.0

My afternoon drive brought me back to the Sunrise trailhead, complete with crystal blue skies and more tourists than I cared to count. But first I took a quick detour to the White River Ranger station where yet another fantastic ranger tweaked my permit so I could stay at the walk up campsite that night as a hiker and have no worries about hiking and camping that night. 

I had no idea that Sunrise looked like this, or that it would be so insanely crowded
I quickly hit the trail, there were so many more mountains and so much more green than I had even been able to contemplate. What a treat

Maybe you do not appreciate how big of a difference this all was but how about a quick reminder of what I saw last time...

Ta-dah, behold a view!


Oh yes, most definitely mountain

I like fog and it definitely adds to the mood but I'm glad I got to see all this. 

And just for fun one more time...

With no giant approaching thunderstorm...

What a fun afternoon, plus the crowds were almost nonexistent once I was 1/4 mile from the parking lot. Win for me. Then it was back to my car and then the campground and some tasty dinner. 18 miles plus a whole lot of driving, I was for sure done for the day. 
Now long distance hikers can be easy to spot, not always but there does seem to be a bit of a vibe that a lot have. While I was setting up camp I started talking to another hiker and after some tentative small talk we realized we had long trails in common. Tentative polite chit chat begone, she hiked the CDT in 2011 and now lives in Salida and trail angeled a bit this year. Plus we have the same shift and career in common. Needles to say we talked until well past dark dreaming of adventures and debating the Wonderland Trail. The trail community once again proves its a small and amazing world.

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