A hike to get us ready for a hike

As we did almost every morning we were together, Ox, Little Bird, and I had another round of bacon and eggs and dish washing in the morning. Bacon and eggs are tasty, but over time I tired of the dish washing.

We found another campground a little bit further into the park. I went ahead and paid for two nights there too. With our lodging worked out, we went to the visitor center to make a plan for a hike. I really wanted to see one of the glaciers for which the park is named. They’re supposed to all be gone by 2020, so I figured this might be my last shot. We planned to hike over Piegan’s Pass, but it seemed too late in the day to start a twelve mile hike. Instead, we found a little hike right by our campground. It was five miles to Okitomi Lake. It turned out, though, that once we got there, we’d still have to hike back out, making today’s “short” hike TEN MILES. Sometimes I wondered about the wisdom of these young people who left Colorado Springs with packs on their backs, but they know a lot more about this hiking stuff than I do, so I went along with it.

We headed up a little trail that left right from the campground. From the looks of the map, it seemed to be on the wrong side of the stream, but on we went. It turned out that this trail was really just a road up to a water tower. We climbed to the top of the water, because it was there.

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There was considerable conversation about trail blazing over to where the trail we were supposed to be on was, but the drop down to the steam below was precipitous. We ended up walking all the way out of the far end of the campground and over a bridge to where the trail head actually was. I didn’t even say “I told you so.”

Along the way we saw some rocks. I found a tablet of stone that I am pretty sure is like the ones that Moses brought down from whatever mountain he went up. This tablet, however, is a /tabula rasa,/ if you believe in such.

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Along the way, Little Bird said that she needed to stop for foot maintenance. We stopped and I applied some moleskin to a place that was starting to blister on my foot. She applied tape to a couple places on her foot. Not too long later she commented that she should have taken her foot maintenance more seriously. I suggested that we could stop again, but she said that she didn’t need to stop. “Are you sure?” I asked, knowing the answer. It was clear that she wouldn’t stop. She’d already made us stop once. Making us stop again would be an admission of weakness, or some such. I figured that this meant that by the end of today’s sojourn her feet would be too trashed to make the next day’s hike (I was right). The strong will of this young woman felt strangely familiar. I mused that in fifteen years she’ll be breaking the heart of someone who wants desperately to be loved by her. Not that I’m bitter.

Along the way we passed one of the back country camp sites. There were fairly explicit instructions for staying there. Food is to be cooked in one place and stored in another. No food is ever to be taken into the place where you sleep. Apparently they don’t want the bears to mistake the people for food.

Not far beyond the camp sites the lake finally appeared. It was pretty awesome. There were a bunch of people fishing. I was told that one could not circumnavigate the lake because there was a cliff or something that precluded getting all the way around. Knowing that I was supposed to walk another 12 miles the next day, I wasn’t too interested in lots of extra walking anyway.

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I posted a bunch more more pics of our journey, if you’re interested.

I sort of liked a few pictures I took of some little rapids, for instance.

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On the trip back out, we ran a fair amount of the way. On a gentle downhill it’s easier to run than to fight gravity quite so hard. Ox said that running was really fun with a fifty pound pack on his back. I wasn’t so sure.

Little Bird’s feet were really hurting and I was ready to get out of the woods, so I ran on up ahead to set up the shower and get dinner started. I strung up some parachute cord between a tree and a couple points on Walden and hung a blue tarp on it. I used every one of the bungee cords to hold the tarp in place. The thing had been in the sun all day and the water was deliciously warm. It felt good to be clean.

Ox and Little Bird returned as I was getting dinner started. I encouraged them to take advantage of my fantastic shower enclosure, but they refused. I couldn’t understand it. A while later the campground host came around to let us know that there was a pay shower around the corner at the store.

After dinner we threw all the dishes and foodstuffs in Walden and went on to sleep in our respective homes.

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