Last day of trail work. Much warmer last night so no frost. We got another fabulous breakfast. Packed the energy bar that claimed it had four real ingredients, and Donna’s zipbag of watermelon for lunch.
Packed up tent and all stuff and then we drove to Devils thumb trail head to work from the other end of the trail. An hour’s drive through windy forest roads. This trail head was much closer to the real divide. I had negotiated or Adam had in my behalf to work in the trail up to the ridge. Turned out everyone wanted to get up on the ridge. So we set out hiking the mile up to the CDT, and then started doing drainage. Apparently I am shit at that.
Not to forget we had a raffle beforehand. Got stickers, a tshirt and a boot cleaner. Then the obligatory safety, stretch ring. Today’s question was “if you could hike anywhere, where would it be”.
Kylie wanted us back at the trail head by 2pm, and with 600m climb and 3 miles to go, Adam, Nikita, Adam 2 and Mike decided that if we wanted to get up to tge ridge we needed to get up there. Then we could work going down again. The trail went through a “wind event area”. Pretty much every tree was downed. Crazy. Since this was inside of the Wilderness area, it all had to be cleared by hand. No chainsaws.
We left hardhats and tools by Beaver pond and started climbing. Legs felt great and soon I had lost the others. I tried to wait for them a few times, but when I didn’t see them I just powered on. Managed to get to the ridge, get some fabulous views of tge thumb and both the Atlantic and Pacific sides before the clouds came in. 3600m-ish. Didn’t feel the altitude at all. Quite different from the first night at Junco Lakes where I was dizzy and wake up gasping for air.
Above the tree line, views and vistas, willows and alpine flowers. Out of the forest you could walk anywhere. It wasn’t the feeling I got when we saw Everest from base camp. Might have been the altitude, but it gave me such a feeling of belonging. Being up there made me for the first time on the trip make me feel like I belonged. Having kids have reprogrammed me, I certainly didn’t tear up from seeing pretty flowers when I was thirty. :-)
Gave up waiting after fifteen minutes. Even though I had sent the message down with some people I met for them to hurry up. Headed down at good speed and found Adam and Adam 2 waiting for me at the first snow field. Apparently they had tracked me by asking people if they had met a person with a funny accent. They’re just such good guys!
On the way back, Adam let me saw down some decent sized trees with the hand saw. The 200USD folding saws they have are magic. You can cut down almost anything with them.
Back at the trail head, we drunk the last beers and said our farewells. CDTC is sponsored by Corrs the brewing company. So they get a pallet and a half each year. Sweet.
I rode to Denver with Nikita. Stopped in Frasier for a taco and then ge took me all the way to the hotel. Thanks man!
Blowing some Hilton points I stayed at a hotel overlooking an REI. Apparently I suffer from GAS. Gear Accumulation Syndrome. Returned a gas canister and left without buying anything!!! Then went back to the hotel booked a flight to SJC and alerted my basecamp #1 that I would stay the night if I could. Gave up reaching SAS about the return trip.
During the CDT work I met a good handful of thru hikers. Speaking with them, just made it clearer to me that I want to ho home to the people I love. Not get up at 05:30, do ten miles before 10am, 20 miles before 1400 and 50km before 1800. (Just messing with you on units and time formats). Rinse repeat.
Pictures from everyone doing the trail work here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1l5BWgHM8oZkgCmtxNgTEcC2rbur4v-_i