Day 48 – A Change in the Weather

A change in the weather. The clouds that moved in yesterday stayed overnight making for a warm night. At 6 am, I continued upstream and crossed Chalk Creek Pass. An easy descent brought me to Upper and Lower Hancock Lakes. To my surprise I saw two people fishing in a canoe in the Lower Lake. A quarter mile later, I reached a trail head parking lot, thus explaining the canoe. I walked along a rough road for 1.5 miles past several occupied camp sites to the Tunnel trail head. The trail turned west and headed uphill on an old railroad grade of a failed attempt to build a railroad under the Continental Divide. Easy walking for three miles. Then began a series of 5 climbs of 1,000 vertical feet each. Coming down from the first climb, light rain fell, enough for me to don my rain gear. By the time I reached the bottom and the Tin Cup Pass Road, the rain stopped. I ate lunch with hiker Duece under a tree near the road. As I hoisted my pack after lunch, the rain returned and accompanied me for about an hour during the next climb. On my way up, I ran into two CDT/CT adopters checking the condition of the trail. Most of the rest of the day ran above timberline with expansive views under cloudy skies (see photo). My goal for the day was to camp on a pass at 11,900 feet at the end of the fifth climb. I arrived there at 6:30 well exercised. But the scenery couldn’t have been any better. The sun’s rays shining under the dark, low-lying clouds gave the alpine landscape a mysterious look but didn’t appear to portend an overnight storm. Probably the most scenic camp spot I’ve ever had. I found a level spot with a cushion of alpine plants, set up my tent, and cooked dinner. 22.8 miles today.

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