6/16/15 Day 53, M1615.9 to RMNP M1635 9123′

Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 7

17.8, 1003.1 Trip Miles

Mostly Sunny w/ rain late

Day’s of Snow: 7 – Day’s of Rain: 18 – Days of Hail: 10

# of Zero days: 5

7:42 am to 7:15 pm

Gila Crossings Final Total:  221

Tick Count: 4 (4 more crawling on me)

Critter Count

68 Elk

9 Moose

3 Deer

3 Ground Squirrels

2 Chipmunks

1 Marmot


530 Pronghorn*

157 Elk

119 Lizards

116 Wild Horses

98 Chipmunks

64 Deer**

37 Cotton Tail Rabbits

35 Ground Squirrels

27 Squirrels

22 Horny Roads

19 Prairie Dogs

17 Jack Rabbit***

9 Moose

8 Snakes

4 Marmot****

4 Coyotes

4 Moles

2 Rattle Snakes

2 Toads

1 Mouse

1 Skunk

1 Weasel

1 Porcupine

*181 from car, **3 from car, ***1 from car, ****2 from car

I fell today. Not once but twice. I blame the snow shoes. (It was me I was trying to go too fast)

It was raining when the alarm went off so we slept in. The morning was wet and dismal. It was almost all up hill to Illinois Pass where I followed a ATV track hoping it would loop back to the trail. It didn’t so we had to bushwhack back to the CDT.

By lunch time we hadn’t even done 10 miles. At this point we had to make s decision. Stick to the trail and its north facing snow covered slopes or cut down a ridge across a bowl and rejoin the trail. We took the bowl route.

We even found a road after that that took us to the base of Bowen Pass. Seeing our window in the passing thunderstorms we went for it. The pass was beautiful and offered the most amazing views.

My heart soared when I heard a Pika! I unfortunately didn’t see him. No matter I smiled ear to ear. Pika are my favorite mountain critter.

As we stood on the top of the pass we saw someone coming from the alternate route. Then we saw a second person. It was Seth and Genny. We waited for the despite the crashing thunder once again closing in.

During a wrong turn we spotted a mother moose and calf. The calf was tiny and fuzzy brown. Very cool to see them so up high.

The four of us made a mad dash down the north side into a huge bowl. Of course it started to hail and rain for a good part of our descent. We descended down out of the Never Summer Wilderness and into Rocky Mountain National Park.

We crossed a large field which held the Colorado River. In this field we spotted moose #3 and 17 elk. We crossed another bridge and saw 3 more moose, then 2 more and 35 elk, then 2 more moose and then 25 elk. You get the picture. 7 moose in 10 minutes. 65 elk in 20.

I broke the 1000 mile mark around 6 pm! Only 1800 to go…


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Get out there!

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