Thursday, July 24, 2014
Day 45: Knoll Overlooking Sweetwater Creek to Big Sandy
Dark clouds lingered, remnants of last night's storm. We climbed through the pine and aspen forest, and soon reached Bridger Wilderness. Wildflowers blanketed the ground in every direction: cheerful yellow monkey flowers, bright lavender daisies, small yellow sunflowers, deep red paintbrush, pale purple columbine, magenta monkey flower, white bear grass, and many, many more.
We passed the junction to the Cirque of the Towers alternate route with mixed feelings. We are committed to following the official route as best we can, but the Cirque of the Towers is very beautiful and I have wanted to see it for many years. If we had more time this summer, we would definitely take an extra day or two to take a side trip to see it. But our summer is quickly coming to an end, so for now we must pass it by.
Golden green swamp grass lined the edge of a marshy pond dotted with golden water lilies. We lingered for a while, sitting on a huge granite slab next to the pond.
Predictably, the CDT left the more traveled trail, disappearing altogether in a damp meadow. Although the trail soon reappeared, it looked more like a game trail than an established hiking path.
A red tailed hawk soared overhead as we neared Big Sandy Creek.
My father met us at the Big Sandy Campground, where we resupplied and camped together. The well preserved remains of a beaver perched on rock nearby, overlooking our campsite. Although we had spotted a beaver from a distance in Colorado, it was the first time we had seen one close up. We are still hoping to see a live beaver on one of the creeks in Wyoming.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 8:30 PM