Camped at South Platte River (6120 ft)

Started out the day under a bridge along the South Platte River trying to filter water for the day while eating a breakfast of bagel with PBJ and a milkshake*. The shake hit the spot but filtering didn’t go so well. An o-ring or gasket or something died on the filter. I guess it was about time. It’s served me through about 15 years of backpacking. We’d be drinking iodine treated water for the rest of the segment. Yuck.

Our hike for the day took us through a 10 mile burn area of a 1996 fire. This area is known as a brutal section of trail because of the constant exposure to the sun and the lack of water sources. The dogs carried a total of a gallon of water for themselves (although the heavy pack didn’t prevent Cassie from bolting off the trail after a chipmunk) and we carried over a gallon (8 lbs!) of water for ourselves for the day. We didn’t have much left by the end of the day.

As it turned out, it was a brutal hike but not because of the sun and temps. About 1 pm, thunderstorms started rolling in. Not being familiar with the weather patterns out here, I was freaked out about getting caught on the exposed ridges with lightning. So, what should have been a 5-mile leisurely hike for the afternoon turned into a race against the sky. Seeing lightning pop up around us made me a little edgy and the only thing that kept going through my mind the whole time was “there’s no substitute for experience.” Whether it’s experience with the CO weather, experience with repairing musical instruments or building websites, experience with an illness or disability, etc. You can read all the books in the world on a subject or think and speculate about something but you just don’t fully understand the breadth or depth of something until you experience it. And I needed to experience some CO storms to know when it’s safe to continue up the trail and when I should be barreling down into a valley for lower ground. I got some experience on that today!

We arrived at our camping spot by 3 at the end of a steady rain. It stopped just long enough to set up the tent and get supper made. Then another round of storms rolled in. Thankfully there was intermittent 3G reception on my phone so I could use the time to catch up on email and Facebook, etc.

Milkshake recipe:
1/3 C Nido dry powdered whole milk
2 T non-dairy creamer
1 T Instant Pudding Mix
1 envelope Carnation Instant breakfast – any flavor.
Add 1 1/4 C cold water, shake well.