Wasn’t sure of my plans today and didn’t make the decision until I was at the trail junction. Should I stay on the CDT or take this alternate route to San Luis Peak and finally climb a 14,000-foot mountain? Aw heck, I’m right here, might as well go up! It was a long, tough climb but totally worth the effort. Sitting so high completely changes your perspective of the mountains around you. All those lofty peaks I was straining my neck upwards to see while I huffed up the trail were now below me. Everything was below me! So I climbed a 14’er. Yay. Eventually two other nice folks came up and we had a pleasant chat and they gave me some water. You just meet the greatest people on the trails. The rest of today was stellar; jaw dropping views everywhere. Took more photos today than I have in days. Found a nice flat spot and tucked away to the sounds of elk bugling close by. From the wild sounds coming from yonder woods it sounds like someone is getting lucky. Brother coyote is off yelping in the distance as well.HOLY CRAP! I kept hearing something off to the side of my tarp and then a sound like a big hoof pawing the ground. It was loud and close so I peeked out and there, 15 feet away was a friggin’ giant moose! It was staring at me, it’s eyes reflecting my tiny headlight, stomping the earth and breathing heavy. Instinctively I let loose with a stream of shouted profanities and it took off into the forest. One last ‘Piss off you gangly bastard!’ and I felt safe again. I hardly see any wildlife in the past week and now I’m like a magnet for furry maniacs. Did you know moose have a venomous bite? Antlered rattlesnakes, indeed! The only cure for moose venom is malted hops and barley, so I better get to town tomorrow and stock up on antibodies.
- Starting Location: getting colder and darker
- Destination: mountains and wildlife