Friday, July 3, 2015

Day 23: Lower Seymour Lake Campground to Burnt Mountain Jeep Trail

Road walking. Mindlessly walking down a gravel forest road, the air heavy with the pungent aroma of skunk, it is easy to see why so many hikers take the Anaconda Cutoff to avoid this section. 

And bushwhacking. Just when you think you can't take another mile of road walking, the CDT throws in a little bushwhacking to liven things up. This has two main benefits: (1) it breaks up the monotony of road walking; and (2) by the time you finish bushwhacking you are so grateful for established tread that you happily resume road walking.  With instructions like "head across field to mule ranch" and "follow stream bed up," a certain amount of bushwhacking was the order of the day. Only on the CDT!

Loud angry buzzing greeted us when we stopped for a short dinner break. The buzzing grew until it sounded like we had stuck our heads in a hive. Yellowjackets swarmed around us. I counted 50 yellowjackets buzzing on Sierra's backpack before I gave up counting. More yellowjackets covered our poles, and I felt several yellowjacket bodies writhing against my bare legs and arms. We hastily shoved our gear back into our packs and literally ran down the trail. 

After a final section of bushwhacking and deadfall scrambling, we reached an established Jeep trail, and decided to set up camp for the night. 

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