Day 2 – 20 miles (42 miles total)

After 10 hours in my sleeping bag I was over the aches and pains of the day before. The body’s resiliency is pretty amazing. I headed over to Colvin Lake to get water and decided to check out the petroglyphs noted on the map. I found the spot, yet another reminder of the passing of time.

Next up was Abert Rim! I picked my way across the uneven rocky terrain and it seemed I would never get there, I aimed for a cairn on the horizon and suddenly the world beneath was revealed. 

The valley floor lay 2,500 feet below and I could see for miles. I could see Paisley where I would be in a week, and Valley Falls, into the Fremont Forest and a bit of Abert Lake. It was gorgous. I sat down and had a break trying to take it all in.

I would walk along the rim for the rest of the morning and came across several hunting blinds…or shelters from the wind. Not sure exactly. There were lots of Pronghorn up there, and most seemed curious, not running till I was fairly close.

Finally I decide to cut down off the rim, but I choose my spot poorly and had some intense bushwacking through mahogany. Finally I reached a dirt road and found groves of aspen that had already turned golden yellow.

It was a beautiful day! I entered the Fremont Forest and found all of the water sources had water, and even found some not in the resources. I loved the smell of the pine trees, and even more aspen made the walk really pleasant.

When I got to Vee lake I started on the Fremont National Recreation Trail. Trail!!! 

The ODT follows this existing long trail for the next 70 miles, but is over 200 miles itself. I’ll have to come back and finish it one day! Tomorrow I’m going to leave the ODT for an alternate I’m creating that will take hikers directly in and out of the town of Lakeview, and will follow another trail, the Crane Mountain National Recreation Trail. It will be longer than the original ODT miles, but hey, we’re here to hike, right?

The trail was lovely and passed some cool canyons and through an old burn, the manzinetias smelled sweet in the warm fall air. It was wonderful. More water and even a big pile of bear scat!

Soon I entered the trees and saw a few big bucks in the distance. It’s hunting season, so half expected to see some hunters angry that I scared away their dinner. But no hunters so far.

I made camp near Swale Creek early enough to read a big chunk of my book. What a great day.

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