Distance hiked today: 22.7 miles / 36.5 km.
When a guy has his sleep air-pad blown up on the top of a mountain pass, you know some shenanigans are about to go down. We summited Silver Pass in the late morning at 10,778 ft, and I thought he might be planning to glisade down the snow on the backside on it. But as we watched, he hiked down to the partially frozen lake and went for an ice-cold lounge in the water while his friend took photos from the top, no doubt for the 'grams. (I was far away so the photo is not great.)
A couple of Frenchmen took our photo before we descended in pretty slushy snow down into the valley, slipping and sliding. We had lunch next to a big river, rock hoped many streams, and hiked the afternoon mostly through forest.
We've been hiking usually from 6 or 6:30am to 7:30 or 8pm - the miles are slower with rougher terrain. We decided to have dinner early before reaching camp, while it was warmer and the sun was higher. As we finished the day just before sunset, the mountains glowed in the golden hour and looked like paintings, their bright peaks casting partial shadows on each other like someone had swiped a darker color across them with their paintbrush. I couldn't capture it on camera, it just doesn't do it justice.
We passed two other hikers on the trail who were having a rough go… we guessed they were section/weekend hikers from the size of their packs - enormous, with even more bags of gear hanging on the outside so they looked like pack mules. One of the young men was sitting in the dirt yelling about how much he hated this, while his friend tried to pick him up by yanking on his backpack. Clearly this isn't for everyone… but it is nice to see people trying new things and I hoped they'd re-evaluate their gear to have a better time of it in the future.
We passed the 900 mile marker just before camp, and even arrived before dark.
Total trail mileage: 901.4 miles / 1450.5 km