Day 51 on the CDT – Aspen Forests

Aspen forests. The night didn’t seem that cold but my tent had ice on the inside when I awoke. My day started with a mile-long descent to the Clear Creek campground followed by a half-mile walk across the flat valley then a climb along a steep, south-facing sagebrush-covered hillside. After the trail reached the top, it wandered north through coniferous forests and through delightful aspen forests. I like the dappled light and the softer trail tread in aspen stands. I ran into a group of 15 Boy Scouts from Houston. After 8 miles, the trail dropped down to Twin Lakes Reservoir. I met a family that could hardly believe that “grandpa” was hiking the CDT. They took my picture with their 10-year old granddaughter. I ate lunch under a tree where Betsy and I camped in 2009 during our Colorado Trail hike. The 5-mile walk around Twin Lakes featured terrific scenery of the mountains to the west (see photo). The walking was still tedious. Near the spot where the CDT crossed under CO Hwy 82, I got a ride with a grizzled chap in his ancient truck to the Twin Lakes store. I retrieved my food box and bought a pint of chocolate ice cream. After repacking my food, I started walking back to the trail crossing and soon got a ride with a firefighter. The last part of the day involved a climb, then several miles of easy walking through more aspen forests. Somewhat to my surprise, I made it to Halfmoon Creek by 6 pm. After setting up camp and eating dinner, I rinsed off in the creek, a real treat. Plus the mosquitoes were absent. 22.6 miles today.

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