Hiking into the Winds Mountains

East Fork Squaw River (12_118)
Day 106 – 8/5/17
Miles – 20.7
Total miles – 1595.1

It was a warm night and no one wanted to get up. This is becoming a common occurrence. Eventually, we got up, ate, packed, and started hiking about 7:00. The sun was just cresting the top of the valley rim. Our first objective was a good water source. We set out sights on a creek in 6 miles. We walked through a mix of pine and Aspen, then we would leave the trees and hike out into grass and sage. Fondly, we got one last look behind us of the Great Basin. When we reached the stream, we found that it was small and too silty for us to use.  We would have to wait for the next stream. Hopefully, it would be much better, and it was.  It was wide and fast flowing with a bridge to sit on. We snacked and flitered water. Our next obstacle was a long climb, 5 miles and about 2,000′ in elevation increase. This took hours to get up. At the top, we rested and had lunch. One of the high lights of the CDT is to hike the Cirque of the Towers in the Winds Mointains. This is a beautiful alternate, but it is very difficult and would add time to this section. We don’t have the food for it or the time. Sadly, we are many days behind schedule and can not afford to loose any more  time. Planning on returning to hike these mountains for a future summer, we will hike the Towers then. On the way down, we missed a turn and hiked 4 miles down to a stream. There was no bridge across it, so we had taken our shoes off and were ready to cross when Papa Raven checked the guide and found we were off trail. So we put our shoes back on and headed back up the trail. Instead of walking all the way back to the junction, we cut cross country back to the trail. In the process, we scared a big herd of cows. Of course, they run straight up the trail the way we were headed. This meant that we kept them moving in front of us as we walked the trail. After 10 or 15 minutes, they left the trail and we could pass them. We hiked on around a ridge and decided to camp there. We had a stream, a flat place to camp, and it was getting late. Both Mama Raven and Whisper successed in getting their feet wet at the very last river crossing of the evening. A disappointment at the end of the day. This means wet shoes to put on in the morning.

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