I was so excited to get going today that I was up before dawn and hiking before the sun came up. And a good thing too, as it was blistering hot all day, hotter than any hike I’ve ever taken in the Colorado mountains.
As planned, I day hiked down front my camp at mile 22 to the Platte River at mile 17, reaching the east end of section 2, which I had never hiked. I found the river high but the trail and bridge readily passable, although posted as closed by the forest service. I could have just started at section 1.
I didn’t linger, and turned around to make the 2000 foot climb through shadeless burn areas as quickly as I could, and arrived back at camp at 10:30.
As I had already hiked 10 miles, I was planning to take a long midday break, but the flies had other ideas. I soon tired of their companionship, and stated the return hike to the section 3 trailhead.
About 2 miles along, I caught up to Jerry, a hiker about my age who was moving very slowly. When I greeted him with a “how’s it going”, he replied “I’m hurting” and so I stopped. He and his son had run out of water and were quickly dehydrating in the heat and sun. I gave him half my water, which seemed to help, and walked on. A mile later I caught up to his son, who was going ahead to the fire station near the trailhead to get water to bring back to his father. He was in even worse shape, and I gave him all but a last swig of my water. That was enough to get him to the fire station, where he was able to camel up and get water to bring back to his dad. They are from GA and he has just retired and they are hiking the CT in commemoration. I hope they make it, they are nice folks.
I hiked another 3 miles or so, stopped at a small creek to wash up and the a bit farther to camp at mile 30.
That’s about 18 miles for the day, more than I was really planning on but that’s just how it goes. I did have to take my first dose of vitamin I, something I was hoping to put off for a few days more.