cold cold cold cold morning. holy cow. walked around camp wearing my sleeping bag while trying to warm up.
each day we're working up our mileage. while planning we decided to take the first portion slow. we hadn't backpacked any major mileage for years, and wanted to ensure that we didn't get injured or destroy ourselves by going out too fast too soon (in the next few days, we'll run into people whose partners had to drop out because they started doing 20 miles a day cold)
the hike up the brook and through the gulch is beautiful, but monotonous and at the kind of incline that kills me: not super steep, but steep enough to hurt for 6-7 miles. listened to Hannibal Burress' comedy album, which made me crave chicken fingers and french fries. ok.
once we got to the top of the gulch guess what we did? we went down! down a bunch of dry switchbacks until we entered segment 5 and headed back into Lost Creek Wilderness.
the wilderness alternated between dense forest, meadows, and aspen groves. it was beautiful, but endless. we were so excited to get out of it, to finally feel like we made some progress.
we came to a road and saw a group of folks picnicking, they hollered to us and told us they were Colorado Trail volunteers doing some work for the weekend. they fed us fresh watermelon, gave us homemade energy bars, and a bag of milano cookies - and a CT bandana for C! this was a huge pick me up and we were so grateful.
after we left them we had a few miles to our campsite above Johnson Gulch. climbed up, set up camp fast - due to impending thunderstorm, and chowed on dinner and cookies.