Total trip miles: 1325.3
Good sleep under a porch, leftovers for breakfast and even a nice big pot of coffee. Jayne drove us all back up to the trail and it was back to hiking. Atlas and I got out at Muddy Pass for a few more miles walking along Highway 40, while Cookie, First Man and Rest Stop were 2 miles ahead at Rabbit Ears Pass. With around 85 miles to Battle Pass and the hitch to Encampment I'm sure we'll all be seeing each other.
There were lots of hikers in Steamboat but it was spread out and with parents and post office hours thrown into the mix I have no idea who already hit the trail and who I'll run into the next few days, sure to be a fun surprise.
Originally I was going to do this next stretch in one big 167 mile push to Rawlins, but I was convinced that the hitch to Encampment wouldn't be too bad so instead it's around 85 miles and only 3 days of food, I love the lighter food carry. Forest and fields of wildflowers all around, it's of course raining on and off but today that felt pretty great and the hiking life is good.
Beautiful 2 track through the forest, seriously I kept checking to make sure I hadn't missed a turn it was in such good shape. Wildflowers gave way to more ponds, mosquitoes and meadows. The trail entered Mt Zirkel Wilderness and it was lovely cloudy forest again.
Hiking with Cookie Monster and First Man I finally got tired and stumbled to some water. Great sunset and a little bit of an earlier stop, pretty country and a good day.
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