July 5- Lost Creek Wilderness to Georgia Pass – 23 miles, 4,544 feet up, 3,386 feet down
Today was a day where we would at last get to the Continental Divide. It started rough with Elaine's feet. Part of the issue is me though. I take her pain personally, which leads to stress. I need to work on that and just let her deal with pain…it's part of the deal when hiking 500 miles.
We were passed early while still in camp by three old-timers who were clearly veterans of this game. I think we both made mental notes to not let that happen again. At the very start of the hike Elaine got dive-bombed by a hawk who was apparently protecting her young. Ha – if there is one thing I've learn it would be never mess with an angry mother!
We descended to a creek where we filled up our water and then proceeded onto a long, open climb to Kenosha Pass. We passed one of the old timers who was also suffering from blisters. He told us he'd hiked th Appalachian Trail three times and had never gotten a blister. Hmmm…guess this Colorado Trail is no joke when a guy who has hike 6,000 miles is feeling the pain.
We enjoyed a snack in stupendous aspen grove and then met a real treat – the water pump at Kenosha Pass campground. We must have pumped 20 gallons or so out of that thing – filling water, bathing, soaking Stella. Note to ourselves – when we build our future home we'll be sure to include a water pump! They are worlds more fun than a simple faucet, and a better workout too.
We were hydrated and feeling good, so we continued west. We entered some rolling hills that I had biked years ago. We ran into "Just Been" again – he seemed quite peeved that Stella was drinking water out of the same creek he was drinking from. What's she supposed to do…go on a water strike? She's hiked exactly as many miles as we have, and unlike humans she doesn't wash her dishes in the creek. We also ran into another girl who told Elaine she was "dying of dryness." She was from the south and I guess our dry climate was wrecking havoc on her skin. One thing we've both noted – there are an awful lot of southerners on this trail.
After these interesting encounters, we started the long, steady climb to the divide. It went up and up and up to near the summit of Georgia Pass. We crested 11,000 feet and things were looking iffy with thunderstorms. We opted to camp in a beautiful tundra patch surrounded by low lying firs. We were able to get some amazing water from a spring just below the camp. We were both in a much better mood tonight, but I got upset when I found out my Kindle had somehow mysteriously broken. Three weeks is a long time to go with nothing to read. In retrospect, I should have just brought a book – they don't break! (Post-script…called Amazon the other day, explained the situation, and they are sending out a new one free of charge. Kudos to Amazon.)