GDT Day 55 – wet feet and killer views

Mileage: 17.8 km (ish)

We woke to sun!

It was beautiful this morning. A real treat after the grey skies and wet brush yesterday. We had random camped with great views of Mount Moren and Mount Mahood and the clear skies really let us take it in today.

The ground was mostly dry, but my feet still got wet from my shoes (still wet from yesterday).

My dry-ish feet didn’t last though. We reached the meadows which offer great views but are quite boggy.

Here we saw some new flagging tape (it was faded white in 2018, now it’s pink). We followed this and realized the trail in the first cluster of trees is not very good. The GPS track takes you around this cluster of trees then rejoins the trail (and flagging tape). After this the trail is easy to follow, just a bit boggy sometimes, and gives awesome perspective of the surrounding mountains.

We took a quick wiggle, snack and diaper break at the Miette Pass junction. We then swapped – I started carrying Toothless and Natasha took some of the food.

The hike up to the pass was easy and short. Then boom – you are there and more views. In 2018 this was obscured by smoke so we didn’t get the whole impact. I’m glad we did it again today. It’s magnificent.

After climbing down a bit from the pass, the rest of the day was relatively flat and full of views. And only sometimes boggy.

We bumped into Trash Panda and two other hikers going SOBO, flip flopping from Kakwa likely for convenience with logistics. We chatted a bit, Toothless woke and eventually (once he woke up long enough) gave her a big smile.

So that was cool to see them!

After that the hike to the Colonel Creek Campsite was reasonably quick. I was getting sore – I had been carrying Toothless since 10am – but we kept going.

Natasha and I kept talking about the campsite trying to figure out if we remembered the same one. It turns out we did.

At the campsite there are all sorts of cool pieces of history (and some trash). One tree has lists of people participating in equestrian trips with their roles written down. These are often dated. While most of these are starting to be swallowed by the tree one of them has a clear date still visible – it is from 1951. I thought this was quite neat.

While waiting at the campsite with Toothless while Natasha got water I saw what looked very much like a mink. It has a beautiful spotted face, was long and slender and had a fluffy and long tail. I didn’t manage to get a photo (because I was carrying Toothless) but this little thing was very curious and eventually decided to run across the trail and head into the trees next to the lake. I honestly didn’t know there were mink in the Rockies until I looked this up and, yes, there are some. I feel fortunate to have seen it.

Less fortunate was the mouse we had to shoo away. But we kept a clean camp and hung our food far away so this thankfully wasn’t a problem.

I laid my socks out to dry, went down for bed and hoped for a clear evening.

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