7/22 – 7/25 Leadore to Lima
After spending the last of our change on freshly baked cookies from the Leadore Store I was ready for the trail once more. We were now a big group – Rock Steady, Kombucha & Hawkeye, Joker, Lost, Found, Heaps & us – but thankfully a local Leadorian gave us a ride back up to the pass in his cattle-truck.
Highlights: Peak-bagging Cottonwood Mountain, meeting our first NoBos (CDT thru-hikers travelling north), a cave harbouring elk and bison bones, cowboy camping with a visit from a moose, a superb rainbow-route (a new phrase we coined for when we make up our own cross-country route), visiting Cow Camp and refreshing swims in rivers when the water wasn’t cow-taminated.
A word on the wonderous wildflowers. I can’t get over them! There are so many: fragile pale pink bitterroot, pale purple sticky geranium, wild irises, vibrant yellow mule’s ear, columbine (some wedding white, others vibrant crimson and gold), cow parsnip, buttercups, lupine and sagebrush. I love the slight variations… as the soil changes or as you round a bend new colours are added to the symphony. As you get higher in elevation the flowers cling to the rocky soil, holding on for dear life against the powerful wind. Shockingly vibrant colours and towering heights (many waist-deep and some up to my chest) indicate a nearby water source. The Master Gardener is marvelous! And to think that we have to work so hard to tend the flowers in our own gardens when these thrive free and effortlessly.