at 39.3296, -105.4429
The passing afternoon shower has left the forest refreshed and the breeze is soft, fragrant with pine and utterly delightful.
An easy 14 miles today with no hot climbs up shadeless slopes. There was water every few miles, and a good thing as it was still quite hot.
Passed maybe a dozen CT hikers today, all of whom were carrying 40+ pound packs and most of whom were clearly struggling. About half were planning to take a day off from hiking to recuperate. They are all nice folks and I hope they can figure out how to shed some weight and establish a workable pace.
The climb to 9000+ feet today took me out of the fly zone, which is an immense relief. I did pass through a gnat zone, but seem to have left that behind as well. Or maybe it is just the breeze that is keeping them away.
Saw something very odd while taking my morning break. In a stand of trees about 60 yards distant, half a dozen Abert squirrels, some as big as small foxes, came down out of their trees, milled around frantically for a minute and then scattered in all directions. A squirrel in the tree next to me also ran down and then across the meadow to the stand of trees and scampered up the hill behind it. An odd bunch indeed.