CDT Day 43

CDT Day 43: Dead Something Pass to Simpson Creek – Oh Boy, Pigpen Returns Camp to Tough Spuds Camp

Miles hiked: 23

Total miles: 683

The alarm music jingled, Rooster cawed. 4:30am. I thought it was a joke. A really bad joke. No way am I getting up. I can still see the stars. There wasn’t even light on the horizon yet. I’m hiking with nutcases. I rolled over, ignoring the world, ignoring the part of me that knew the jig was up. SpiceRack rustled to life next to me, digging through her food, deflating her sleeping pad. Dammit, gotta get up. I got up and was hiking behind Spice at some absurd hour that I didn’t care to know.

Hiking early? Yeah, it has its perks.

That was a tough start to a tough day. However, it really didn’t take long to appreciate the benefits of getting such an early start. The morning was the highlight of the day for me. Surprisingly warm, even a few mosquitos up before dawn. The big climb up to the Divide and Elk Mountain was mostly a solo affair and I was able to cruise in the shade higher and higher towards the warming colors of sunrise. The jagged peaks to the west provided all the distraction I needed when my breath needed to catch up with my legs.

Riding the ridge to 10k feet. Plenty to look at.

I found Crunchberry on top of Elk Mt, over 10,000ft for the first time on the CDT so far. The full panorama was freaking fantastic with interesting mountains to look at in every direction. I followed our path with my gaze from the northern horizon, and tried to figure out where the trail would take us to the south. Rooster showed up, followed by SpiceRack, and we enjoyed hearing about one another’s solar eclipse stories. Plenty to laugh about there.

Rooster and Crunch on top.

After a steep, rocky descent, we rolled over sPUDs for the rest of the day. sPUDs are the Idaho version of PUDs(pointless up and downs). Though I like the name, I didn’t find anything pointless about these. The bald, grassy lumps had views the whole way, which made them far from pointless in my book. I’m out here for views, it’s why I hike. The sPUDs were tough though.

Looking back to Elk across the sPUD lands.

The group kind of came back together as we rounded Baldy Mountain, the next big thing since Elk Mountain. A big lake, then a really gross lake. We all set up to camp at Simpson Creek around 7:30pm. An early end after an early start. Pine Stick moseyed into camp as well, before disappearing into the brush as is his way.

Oh yeah, that’s camp.

That was a grind, but the ramen is worth it.

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