24.6 miles (39.6km)
Forestry road camp (254.4) to Pond Camp (279.0)
All efforts to rise early failed. I was tired and so was everyone else. And it was cold. Well below freezing. It was after 7am when we started hiking.
For about 20 miles we hiked along forestry roads. I saw a total of three vehicle all day. There were more hikers on the road than vehicles. I heard that one member of the group behind us was vomitting all of last night. Not ideal for such a long waterless stretch. One stretch of the road was 3.2 miles dead straight. It took about an hour for me to hike that section.
The road climbed steadily till it hit 9000 feet. I was geographically misplaced (lost) for a short time as I blindly followed a road down a steep hill. I did not notice that the CDT veered off the road. I also led Spontaneous on this detour. We both climbed a steep ridge and found the trail again. I’ve come up with a saying that I think sums up the CDT thus far. “You are not hiking the CDT, until you are hiking off the CDT”.
We made it to a murky pond around 7pm. As this was a cow pond we didn’t want to camp here so hiked another five minutes to escape any midnight bovine adventures. At 24.6 miles this has been our biggest day thus far. Good night.