Woke up at dawn to the sounds of cranes calling to each other as they flew above. Hit the P.O. and got my food and new shoes. Felt bad about getting a food mail drop here after noticing I could have resupplied out of the tiny convenience store. They didn’t have the fancy dehydrated health food I sent myself, but I could eat what they had. I just like to support small local businesses, even if most of my mail drop was free food I dumpstered back in Portland. Oh yea…in case you didn’t know, that is one way I’m able to do these long hikes. I get my food from grocery store dumpsters when not hiking, so my normal food bill is roughly $10 a month (for food like rice and beans that never expire and never get thrown away.) I stock pile my free food during the winter, and then mail it to myself on trail. You wouldn’t believe the premium food that stores throw away. Bet ya I eat better from the garbage than you do paying for it inside! Keeps it out of the landfills too, it it’s environmentally friendly as well as frugal.The folks in Leadore were so nice we got 3 different offers for rides back to the trail as we sat outside going through our boxes. A really kind gentleman named Martin drove us back to the trail. What a great guy! As we walked old jeep tracks along the Continental Divide, a pickup drove right up to us and started offering us a beer! Seriously, they were driving on the CDT and giving out beer while on their way to check on their cattle. It would have been impolite to refuse so we gladly accepted their kind offer.15 miles or so, which is good considering our noon start, and a quick summit of Horse Prairie Mountain at over 10,000 feet elevation. All the springs are fouled by livestock here, which makes drinking a bit of a gamble. Why do cows defecate IN the spring?Just as dusk fell we ran into a herd of over 200 elk. It was fascinating to watch them move away as one giant mass, like a furry antlered amoeba. Their eerie calls of alarm when on for 20 minutes as we followed them along the Divide before they finally went into a valley and escaped our accidental stalking.
- Starting Location: Leadore
- Destination: Horse Prairie Mountain