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I have been thinking about why I am keeping this journal, and I have a confession to make-- it's for me; first I get to live it, then I get to relive it in the writing and remembering. So, if it my entries are too detailed and boring, just remember, they're for me. -:)
It was about 4:30 when I arrived here at the bottom of this canyon 8.7 miles from the Waterton Canyon trailhead. At Bear Creek, reportedly the last water until I get to the South Platte River. This is where I planned to stop tonight, I just didn't think I'd get here so early.
My trail angel, Chris, picked me up at the airport, brought me to the Trailhead, then hiked most of the way with me to the Indian Creek Trail junction. He is planning to hike the CT in a month with one of his two dogs and he wanted to see this section of the trail. For six miles it was a very wide, hot gravel road with lots of bike traffic. It wound through the lovely Waterton Canyon with scenic walls and a pleasant river and it was flat, which was a good start for my sea-level lungs. I knew the hot-gravel road would take a toll on Mr. Cody and it did. Just as the guide book says, shortly after we reached the dam, the road changed to trail and we started to climb-- that's when I knew I wasn't at sea level any more, I had to slow down.
In Waterton Canyon, I felt honored to see the famous big-horned sheep. A flock of them stood in the middle of the road, completely unafraid of humans on foot or on bike. We got close enough to take some photos. I haven't seen any big-horned sheep since the Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park on the CDT.
We saw wildflowers too, once we left the road, lots of them, most of them new to me, although I did see yarrow and mountain aster and wild ginger leaves, I think.
When we got to Bear Creek I was very tired and Mr. Cody 's paws had had enough abuse for the day so we stopped as planned even though it was early. Rain was threatening, spattering, and the sky looked like more was coming, not to mention the cracks of thunder that seemed to be increasing and moving my way. I put up the tent, badly, as I usually do, just to give us shelter. It wasn't cold, but I was so tired, I just laid down on the plastic ground cloth and slept. Come to think of it, I think it was a mild case of altitude sickness. I awoke to the sound of rain, gently hitting the tent wall--an insistent soothing sound that was oddly comforting.
I gathered my wits together enough to send the spot message, collect some water and write this. Now I need to feed Mr. C., give him the paw spa treatment, get something to eat then try to get some sleep. Mr.C. smells like a wet wool blanket.
It was a long day, we were up at 3:30 California time, Rain has stopped. It feels surreal to be here, but I am happy even though I'm missing Kerry already. Tomorrow is a new day.
Photos may have to come later as I will need to reduce the file size for Postholer.