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Well, the terrain is pretty flat, the water is pretty alkaline and the road walk felt pretty endless. We put in a 28.5mile day so we could do a shorter day into town. It was our longest day yet, and left us all pretty tired. But, we are pushing through the miles, so hopefully we can get through the Basin pretty quick. We are stuck in Rawlins today waiting for a package, but hopefully we can push on tomorrow. I'm excited for northern Wyoming, so hopefully we can get there soon!
We both actually loved the section from where the Silverthorn alternate rejoins the official route to Berthoud Pass. The trail takes you up onto the actual continental divide and keeps you up there. It leaves you feeling like you are walking in the sky. My Achilles tendon was still not entirely on board with the whole hiking thing, so Bourbon and I mellowed out our distances so that we were only doing 4000-5000ft of ascent and descent each day. Which in Colorado is keeping it as mellow as we could manage (which is hilarious, it's almost double the gain and loss we would do on our biggest days in New Mexico).
Wyoming had plenty of little Hills on the way to the Battle Pass trailhead (where we hitched down to Encampment from). It did feel a little like Wyoming was trying to prove that it had mountains too. It was windy, as we expected, but the views were refreshing and different. We started seeing Mesas again, and rolling hills rather than jagged mountains.
Northern Colorado was wonderful. We got a gap with pretty good weather and pushed on through. It was hard to leave Steamboat Springs after 3 days off, but 5 of us packed into an old school jeep wrangler with a great local called Calder. It felt like a clown car. We were packed into that car so tight I don't think even a single extra M&M would have fitted in there with us.
We made it into Steamboat Springs and luxuriously took three whole zeros. I hate how there is this weird culture of pride around not taking any zeros. Rest is important (in my real life I'm a Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist) but you can't tell thru hikers their bodies need a break. So often hikers talk to me and sound astonished they are tired/injured/struggling with fatigue, but when you ask them when they last had a rest, they tell you with great pride it was in Lordsburg or somewhere equally distant in time and space. People, take some rest!
We've taken a lot of zeros, and we plan to take several more. As inspired by our friend 5 star, we wanna spend all our money, take lots of zeros and meet as many hikers as we can. As long as we don't get stuck in blizzards up in Montana, we want to enjoy the trail as much as we can.
Staring at a Mountain you are due to climb all morning is not a great motivator for me. Parkview mountain looked intimidating from the moment we got it in sight. It also didn't help that Jonathan Let's comment was along the lines of "it's steep but mostly worth it". And several people commented on the shelter hut near the summit. Yet again, thunderstorms were due, so we were under a time crunch. We summited around 1pm, and could see the storm rolling in quickly. We legged it to get down off the ridgeline and into tree line, and managed to get down into treeline about 70 hours later (read: two) because the "trail" was just a cross country pile of cairns for the most part, and included several surprise climbs. We finally got to the next water source (did I mention this Mountain was also completely dry?), But only after we had been rained and hailed on. Luckily, the sun came back out as we got to camp, so we could dry ourselves out before bed time.