Aug 6, 2018

Daily totals: 13.3 miles, 5,449 ft of elevation

We were worried that thunderstorms would become the norm here so we had everything battened down in anticipation that run would come. Well we were wrong not only did it not rain but there wasn’t a cloud in the ski when we both got up to pee at 4 am. We fell back to sleep and eventually got up at 6:50. Oatmeal and coffee followed by a quick break down of camp had us hiking by 8:30.

The morning was great except for the road walk. A lot of the CT overlaps with 4×4 roads which is something we are not accustomed to. We found ourselves descending for the first 2 miles and then turned on to the Alpine Tunnel trail which is an old railroad route from the early 1900’s. This trail was wide with a gradual grade allowing us to walk side by side and chat, instead of yelling ahead or back to the person behind. We ran into a handful of south bound hikers. The biggest present this trail gave us were wild strawberries and raspberries. We spent a good amount of time ravaging these plants!! Wow did those taste great.

We headed up Tunnel Gulch most of the morning and one thing we both kept saying was that the meadows ahead kept looking like golf courses. The differing shades of greens made it look like a very swanky golf club. We made it to Tunnel lake at 12:00 which was perfect for a lunch break. Today was shakes for lunch. We had mango coconut shakes that we had made and were excited to try. Amy grabbed her bottle and start to take some big swigs. Her face cringed and I new something wasn’t right. She said her shake tasted bitter. That was definitely not the taste we were looking for. I quickly made mine and tried it. Tasted okay to me. So we switched to see if we were just confused. Nope Amy laughed as my face turned into the bitter beer face from the Keystone Beer commercials. Well not sure what to make of that but calories are calories out here so down the hatch it went. Thank goodness we had some home made bars to wash it down.

The afternoon was up and over two pass before descending to Tincup Pass Road. We both commented on how our legs were starting to feel a little like jello. We also saw some footprints of what we think were a moose. Definitely not deer!!

We got to the stream at the bottom and as we crossed a bridge I looked over to see the largest bull moose eating. He had an enormous rack and we were tankful he was a least a football field away. We spent a good 20 minutes just watching him. He definitely isn’t worried about much out here.

It was decision time. It was only 2:00 which meant we could stay here with the moose or march ahead to our next summit and intended campsite. Well our brains said press on but that was met with a very loud argument from our bodies. We only had 2.5 miles to go but that included an 1,800 foot climb.

It wasn’t the most enjoyable climb but we got there and were rewarded with some great views. Now the not so pleasant part was we got to the summit but our camp was about 3/4 mike away downhill and off trail. We slowly picked our way down and got to a small unnamed lake at 4:30.

The campsite is super windy and just below 12,800 feet so it’s a bit chilly as well. While eating dinner we saw a beaver cruising around the lake!! What in the world is a beaver doing up here and how did he get here.

Today was hard but we were also rewarded with some tasty treats (not the shakes) and cool wild life we have never seen first hand. Well it is about 8:00 and we are both having a hard time keeping our eyes open. Tomorrow is the highest stretch along the trail. Feels like we are in top of the world.