June 14 – Lean in and Fly

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”
—George Carlin

Tank 7 Creek to Monarch Crest
21.4 miles

If you have ever read the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, you will recall a scene where a tornado touches down at the very spot the main character, Brian is camped at. The tornado destroys every thing in camp, but the surrounding area is untouched. This scene played over and over in my head last night. About 11:00 pm Wired and I heard the loudest, most frightening wind sound coming our way. We were camped just a few feet from each other. Both of us quickly threw everything in our backpacks to get ready for a big hit of wind. I think we both thought our little 15 ounce cuben fiber tents would be no match. The noise got louder and louder and louder and lasted for hours, but luckily nothing ever actually hit us. Weird. Very weird. Thoughts anyone?

The day was as diverse and amazing as they come: beautiful aspens, mud ridden trail, high traverses on the divide, visit to historic Hutchison Burnett cabin, snow mounds on the trail, scaling cornices, views beyond belief, speedy hiking by Rockin’ and Wired, resupply at Monarch Pass, a fantastic hitch to Salida, and a great motel at Day’s Inn. Life does not get better.

Wired, Silly Chili, and I are taking a zero tomorrow, a day without hiking and leaving for the trail on Sunday with Silly Chili leaving on Monday. He WILL catch up. I am looking forward to pizza, laundry, shower, and the hot tub. Oh ya.

Food Love:
Wired’s Three Musketeer’s candy bar. Serious goodness. She shares.

Gear Love:
Smart water bottles: love the size and how they load in the pack, and they are easy to drink out of. I am even told that if a Sawyer Squeeze water bottle bladder fails you can use a Smart water bottle as a squeeze dirty water bottle.

BTW: Silly Chili is okay and made it to Salida a day ahead of us. It was reported by other hiker’s on the trail that he hiked 38 miles in one day. More about that later.
















  1. “Weird. Very weird. Thoughts anyone?” Why yes, it was God’s mercy and love. You are not alone out there. -And I just gotta say you and Wired are totally bad*ss! Crossing all that snow and the cornices, WOW. Just wow!

  2. Dan Rosander

    Quite the cornice conquerors! awesome photos. Sweet Aspens.

  3. Sally/Arrow

    I am thinking of you and enjoying the beautiful photos

  4. Georgette Theotig

    I love your photos of the grand scenery of the Rockies. It must be heaven to just look all day. I am thinking of you and send best wishes for fun, safety, and the joy of being on the trail!

  5. John Donaldson

    What might have happened, as it did in Yellowstone was that the jet stream dropped in elevation to just above the tree tops. There, it knocked down trees for about 2 miles. Probably higher in your case as nothing blew down around you.

    Miss the country and the beauty seen there no matter which way you look!

  6. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Especially like the trail through the Aspens. So glad you met up with Silly Chili. Grandma worries about that boy, but I think I said that before. Hope you are really enjoying your zero day. Onward tomorrow, Happy Trails!

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