I had entered snow again at the end of the day yesterday, and found a dry spot in the midst of soaking meadows, slushy snow and streaming creeks. The mosquitos wouldn’t leave me alone so I sat in my bug condom most of the night and cowboy camped with it covering my head…it worked perfectly!
The night hadn’t done much to stiffen up the snow, but no matter, FINALLY a lot of the snow is consolidated, so you can walk on top half the time, and the other half is still slushy, but not very deep anymore. It makes the travel much quicker but still dicy from time to time.
In the first two miles of the day I was finally out of the snow, and had some really pleasant forest walking. The tread was mild, and I just filled up on some water when I spied what looked like a cooler. Could it be? Could it really be???? Trail magic? Something so pervasive as the cooler full of sodas on the AT and PCT were non-existent on the CDT….until this one!!!!!!! Rootbeer, lots of kinds of sodas, a trail register. Amazing! I forgot to look at the Trail Angel’s names, but thank you, whoever you are!
Then I thought I would hike to a bench I remember near Camp Hale, I remember it because of a sign stating this segment of trail is maintained by NASA and the FBI. What????? Anyway, made it there for lunch then dropped down to the old training ground for the Mountain division of the military years ago (still live munitions, careful!)