at 39.3624, -105.6406
Slept in until 8 today and managed a leisurely 16 miles or so. My feet are becoming trail smart again, turning the trudging of a he first two days into a smooth cruise along the trail. Where I was once stumbling and slipping despite close attention to the track, my feet now are able to find sure purchase without any apparent effort.
A climb over the side of Windy Peak brought me to the long straight valley of the north fork of Lost Creek, the trail breaking out of 20 miles of forest. I tried fishing, but the fish were surprisingly wary, and I soon continued on with walking.
Found the first trail magic of the hike, a ziplock bag with Jolly Ranchers taped to a tree by “Trail Fairy”. Thank you, Trail Fairy!
6 miles of hiking up the gentle valley brought me to a saddle just shy of 11,000 feet, and afforded my first view of South Park. I will be skirting the northeast rim of the park for the next few days until climbing up and out over Georgia Pass. The view from the saddle showed plenty of snow remaining, so I am no doubt in for some postholing.
Didn’t pass anyone today, but was passed by a trail runner and a hiker, as well as a couple of parties headed east.