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July 1st

Along W Fork Sun River(7.6)-My Lake(28mi)

Campsite Elevation: 7,354ft
20.4mi
This elevation chart is a screenshot from Guthook’s CDT Hiker App.
The moon was fairly bright during the night and I kept waking up thinking it was morning. My alarm was set for 5:30am and I was pretty much awake at 4:30am. I dozed in and out of sleep until my alarm went off and I went and got the food we hung last night. It’s a pain and more time consuming to have to hang and then take it down in the morning, but we know it’s the smart thing to do in bear country and we will get the “hang” of it, ha! 
We got going at 6:30am and cruised all day on great trail. We saw some southbound thru hikers throughout the day and it was fun to talk with them. All of them had great reactions when they realized I was Wired and that was entertaining. It’s just fun to see so many hikers out on the CDT. There are even more going southbound right now because many of the northbounders flip flopped due to the late snow in Colorado this year. Here’s who we met today. Top: Easily Destratcted, Scallywag, Veggie. Bottom: Will, Elena, Patch. 
We started out in a nice wooded section and had a morning climb of 2,000ft to a pass for lunch at 7,500ft. The big event of the day, and purpose of this trip, was the Chinese Wall. It was fun to approach it and have the anticipation of something we’d both wondered about since our CDT hikes in 2013. Here it is through the trees and as we approached our highpoint at lunch. 
Lunch was beautiful, but full of flies and bees…better than mosquitoes! 
We were surprised that we had done a solid 12.5mi by lunch given that it was uphill, we had taken our time, done a morning breakfast break at a stream, and stopped three times to talk to southbounders. We had a spot picked out for the end of the day at the end of the Chinese Wall to hopefully have a nice viewpoint near a lake. We realized after lunch that we only had 8mi to go to hit our lake spot and 20mi for the day. That would have us finishing around 4pm for the day, but we decided it would be just fine and we both wouldn’t mind taking it slower and relaxing at camp. We hiked on and enjoyed the next 8mi along the Chinese Wall. The wildflowers were in full bloom and blanketed the ground. 
We ended up reaching camp around 4:30pm. Neither one of us minded and it’s fun to have a relaxed camp. It’s amazing how quickly time can pass if all chores are done at a relaxed pace. The goal was to enjoy a nice view of the Chinese Wall, so we were disappointed to find out that our campsite did not have the view of the Chinese Wall we had hoped for. In fact, it had no view of the wall at all. We didn’t realize out last view of the wall would be the last and that was bummer, but we still enjoyed it. The campsite is by My Lake and obviously a popular camping area with plenty of options. There is a curious deer very habituated to hikers circling the area. The mosquitoes and biting flies aren’t horrible enough for head nets or bug spray yet, but I already have my share of bites from the last two days and have resorted to my rain jacket and pants at camp regardless of temperature. We seem to have a system down with the food hanging so far. E likes hanging at night while I’m blogging, and I retrieve it in the early morning. We may change it up, but for now, it seems to work for both of us. 
While I have extra time tonight to write, I’ll give a brief bio on E. She had been thru hiking since she graduated college and did the AT. E knew she wanted to hike the AT ever since she was 12yrs old and saw a presentation about it at a summer camp. She has hiked and traveled a lot all over the world The main US hikes she’s done are AT-96, CT03, PCT-05, TRT06, LT08, AZT-07&11, CDT-13. E has a unique job as an ice core driller (occasionally a science technician) and generally has contracts for Antartica or Greenland for 3mo at a time 1-2 times a year. When not doing that, she and Andy(who works with NOAA also in these locations) have homes in New Zealand and Moab. Yep, quite the travelled life. E will turn 42 in a couple weeks while we’re on the GDT. Since E’s body has pretty much been hiking regularly for almost 20yrs, she didn’t have to do hardly any training for this and easily pulled out this 20mi day today. We planned this as a warm-up hike for E’s body and a good way to work out our routine together. With the unexpected pace we are going so far, we realized that we may finish a day early and get out on the 4th of July. We shall see…
As a bonus tonight, I’m going to watch the first episode of the new season of Orange Is The New Black. YAY!!!

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