Big Sandy Lodge and Jackass Pass

Frost on the ground again this morning – I can’t wait to get my cold weather gear. Been a little chilly in my quilt and ever since the zipper broke on my jacket, I haven’t been able to zip it up.Got to Big Sandy Lodge and retrieved my mail drop. Started a conversation with a family staying in a cabin and before I knew it, they made me a huge breakfast and a steaming cup of coffee! The fresh fruit was the best, though. I’d been craving veggies and fruit. A dehydrated peach is ok, but nothing like one full of juice. Two hours later it was lunch and a sandwich was thrust into my hand. Such bliss! Six miles brought me to the Jackass Pass Trail so I hung my food bad in a tree and detoured from the CDT. Up I went, taking the ‘climbing route’ through a huge boulder field and reached a vista unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Only 2.5 miles out of my way and the dream world of towers I entered was worth every step. The Cirque of the Towers is somewhere I could easily spend two weeks exploring, but I have a trail to hike so I only spent an hour resting and letting my eyes take it all in. Reluctantly I descended, wishing I had brought my food up so I could have camped among the howling wind and sky-scraping mountain peaks. I would have frozen my ass off though, so it’s nice to be camped at 9800 feet tonight. I’ll get my share of alpine camping in Colorado. So now, I’m sleeping at a lake near a road and it sure looks like it. This is where the goobers come to camp so they don’t have to hike very far from their automobiles. The earth is pounded flat and dead, the fire ring is full of trash and every single stick within reach has been sacrificed to a campfire. It’s this kind of careless disrespect that sprouts permits and laws. Education is the key, but there are just too many people who come out once a year and don’t understand how their actions impact the forest. I’m so glad the war department has unlimited coffers but wilderness ranger programs are being slashed. Hooray! The last 4% of our country that is wilderness will be destroyed, but you’ll be able to buy sweatshop American flags at Wal-Mart to paste on your SUV. Hooray!? How will we answer our grandchildren when they ask, ‘Mommy, what’s a forest?’ Big suburban strip malls and the national parks are owned by Disney? This earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed. We are all responsible for its demise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our species lived in harmony with the ecosystem before, and our only hope for survival is re-learning those life lessons.Aw, who am I kidding? We’re screwed. May each of us live long. Modern civilization has made us a a strange new breed; grinding gears churning out plastic trash. My personal pendulum of apathy and compassion makes for poor reading. I’m sorry. Tomorrow I promise to write about walking into a tree.

  • Starting Location: meeting the Moaks
  • Destination: Big Sandy Lodge and Jackass Pass


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