June 11 – Elevation Be Gone

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
~Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Mineral Creek to Aspens above Pond
23.7 miles

We are out of the extreme high elevation. Yaaay. Tonight we are dry camped in a lush green aspen grove at 9,962 feet. I am dirty from hiking and no water to clean-up. Baby wipes to the rescue. After a couple of steep climbs this morning, the day consisted of a gentle descent with the trail leading above creeks.

Today there were 2 sign- in registers at trail heads. I was happy to see Silly Chili’s name. That means he is okay and moving forward.

The Cochetopa Creek that we followed at the end of the day was filled with beaver dams.

I do have a question. I keep finding in the trail piles of what looks like perfect brown acorns. I have a picture below. I think it must be moose scat????

Gear Love:
Zpacks 10 degree sleeping bag – 19 ounces
It is literally like a little heater and very lightweight. I don’t even mind that the design does not have a hood. The nights on the CDT have been getting down to 20 degrees and I have stayed warm in this bag.












  1. Them’s some pretty larger acorns!!

  2. LyRae Sullivan


  3. Sally/Arrow

    Hi again !! I am in Montana visiting my brother. He says hello and that scat is from moose!

    • I know. There must be a lot of those guys out there. Scat is every where on the trail. So ya don’t think he would be willing to pick me up in Wyoming??? and fly back to visit you in Reno. Win. Win. HA

  4. Weren’t you carrying the stove and water filter earlier when you got separated from Silly Chili? What is he doing for water filtration and food (cold?) for his solo section ahead of you and Wired?

    • Yes we were. I am sharing a filter and stove with Wired now. At our next resupply I have a stove and filter for Silly Chili. We all learned a lesson on that one. Great observation!

  5. Sharing the zpack love.

    MOOSE !!!!! 😉

  6. John Donaldson

    Downside is that giardia goes from moose to beaver and back, so be careful with the water.

  7. John Donaldson

    My guess would be either moose or elk. More elk in that country than moose.

  8. Skyward (Teresa)

    Yup-that’s moose scat. Your pictures are awesome-you’re on top of the world!

  9. Sally/Arrow

    I love following you along the trail ! I have some maps of the area and I have really enjoyed seeing where you are . Love your quotes !!!

    • I am hoping everyone is getting a map out to see where we are heading. You can also use the Track Me tab at the top for our location when I do have cell service.
      It is fun for me to pick a quote every day while I am hiking on the trail. Glad it is not annoying.

  10. The Beekeeper

    How are you adapting to the Gossamer Gear Marissa pack?

    Good to know both you and Wired like the sleeping bag. I’m probably going to need to replace mine in next year or so.

    I totally know how you feel about struggling with being the slowest, but in your case give yourself props for being out there with others who have been on the trail much longer and who are much younger. You are my inspiration!

    • I am going to write up a review on the pack soon. I can say it is comfortable, carries well, and carries a ton. For my tastes I wish I would have ordered the smaller Gorilla.

      Thank you for your support, encouragement, and tips. You rock!

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