Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day 29: Lowland Campground to Spring Near Leadville

We parted ways with Action, Short Stack, Hiker Box, Heartbreaker, and Crosby this morning. We had not hiked long before another southbound hiker approached. As the hiker drew near, I recognized him from the PCT: Memphis!  We had fun catching up before hiking on on opposite directions. Two more hikers followed, accompanied by a thru-hiking pack dog, but they merely grunted a brief hello without breaking their stride. 

As we sat eating our lunch, we heard the unmistakable whine of chainsaws nearby. Rounding a corner we saw two members of the Americorp Forest Service trail crew we met a few days ago. We enjoyed learning more about their work, and they were very interested to hear about other CDT sections choked with deadfall so that they can help clear them later in the summer. 

The trail wound through pine and Aspen forests, over amber hills dotted with wildflowers, and along high ridges overlooking rolling ranchland below. Cattle range freely over much of the forestland here, but we saw only one cow and a few deer today, including a mother and small fawn. 

As evening approached, we met Birddog, Grits, and Crow, all hiking southbound after flip flopping to avoid the Colorado snow. We enjoyed swapping stories and trail information before moving on in our separate directions to find camp for the evening. We camped high on a ridge, sharing a grove of trees with a pair of owls.

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