Saturday June 27th. 

The night before it stormed a bit and after it passed I was sound asleep. We had planned to “sleep in” and leave camp a little later. The goal was to do 13.2 miles to Brookside-Mcacurdy trail.

I woke up around 6AM and lounged in my tent for about an hour and started to pack up. The sun was coming out and I popped out of my tent to dry some stuff out and use the bathroom. 

Our goal was to get out of camp no later than 9am. The Boston couple was already out and we were the only ones left at camp. Roger walked by and we chatted for a bit. Around 8:45, Professor was still packing up and gave me the green light to go ahead. 

I headed for the trail. The trail was basically all up for a majority of the day. It was gradual at first. 

I caught up to Roger and told him I had a trail name for him, Sunny, because he has a great energy about him and everytime we see him again we shout his name. 

Sunny and I walked together for a bit chatting about logistics and town strategies. On the uphill, he fell behind and I kept going to take a quick break at the Segment 3 parking lot. Professor caught up and we hiked out together until lunch. We walked through some beautiful Aspen patches and took some fun photos. 

Our lunch break was at a water source, where Chad, a hippyish dude from Texas thru hiking the trail. He has a water bottle that sounded like a Dolphin. I mentioned this to Professor and we both were on the same page. He presented the idea of giving him a trail name of Dolphin, which he happily accepted.

The three of us hiked on and the guys quickly left me behind. It was our last ascent of the day. 2.3 miles and 1,200 feet of elevation gain. It was a rough climb and the highest elevation I had ever been at. The trail was actually a little rocky too. Professor was having a conversation the whole way up… I don’t know how. I let the guys go ahead and worked at it on my own terms. I popped some music in and trudged on.

I caught up to the boys with .7 left of the climb. I sat down for 5 mins and got up without warning and headed to tackle the rest of the climb. It was much easier with only 600 feet of elevation to go. I reached the climb and the trail started to go immediately down. It was nice, easy walking and a relatively wide trail. With music in my ear, I flew down the trail and came out to a meadow. With tears in my eyes from the beautiful sight and wild flowers, I had spotted camp. The only negative about camp was the 5 cars parked on the edge of the woods. There were weekenders out with a full set up.

However, it came with benefits. Professor showed up a little after and we were able to Yogi some beers and trail mix. They promised to deliver some more to us later.

After setting up, Professor and I headed to explore the meadow a bit. Across the way, I heard a noise. In the distance, Roger aka Sunny was across the way. We yelled to him and met him back at camp. A few more people showed up, a teacher couple and two young college guys. The campsites were close together and the community started to feel more real. 

Looking for a sunset, we got a wave from the weekenders to come join their camp. Professor and I headed over. I was immediately asked to play a game of cornhole with Maggie, Landon, and Kendra. My team lost. We hung around the campfire getting free snacks, fresh fruit, and some beer. I chatted with the mom about nice towns to live in Colorado. Around 10, we retreated back to our tents.