COVID stole three precious weeks of my summer, but despite a lingering cough and weakness, I was determined to get out this past weekend. Since I knew it would be challenging for me to hike, I chose a trailhead that avoids a long approach and puts you right on the CDT at about 10,000′. From there, Zelda, Max, and I followed the CDT through some typical ribbon forest, tundra, and granite boulders (1-3), eventually making our way to a favorite off-trail lake, which was fortunately deserted (4-5) except for trout and elk. We spent a peaceful afternoon there before being driven into our tent by heavy rain and storms.

The next day was overcast and rainy, but I found a few moments to take photos. We followed trails down past some alpine lakes and climbed back up a drainage (featured photo, 6-7), reaching the CDT again (8) and turning back south to camp at another lovely lake (9-10), which was also fortunately deserted, since I absolutely can’t stand camping near other people. The rain finally stopped at about 6pm, giving us some time for a relaxing dinner before bedtime. Once in the tent, we had some visits from elk and coyotes.

The next morning dawned sunny, and we climbed back to the Divide and returned to the trailhead, with some nice views and flowers (11-12) on the way.