August 9, 2013
Sheep Creek to Corral Creek
Today marked the second day of the past three that I purposely veered from the "official" CDT and hiked an alternate route. It was awesome. Although I can't compare directly to the actual CDT part that I missed, I'm pretty sure the alternate was far superior.
The alternate cut off from the official route at Washakie Creek and followed the Shadow Lake trail to Shadow Lake before turning uphill en route to Texas Pass which led into the Cirque of the Towers basin. I was expecting a climb akin to Knapsack Col, but today was much easier. This may be due to the three fewer days of food I was carrying, but I think it was lower elevation and easier in general. Once through the pass the magic began. Jagged peaks everywhere! There were also a fair number if people around, but it really didn't matter because everything around me was awesome. As it was just about noon, I decided to sit down for a while and cook up a little lunch while enjoying the view.
After the break I made my way down the steep trail to the bottom of the basin, passed by Lonesome Lake, and then ascended the pass out of the basin. Just on the other side of the pass I ran into a group of hikers from Indianapolis who were on their way to Big Sandy Lake for one last night before heading home. I talked with them for a little while and was offered some wasabi almonds, which I gladly accepted and also mentioned that I would be happy to take any extra food they offered. I ended up with some bonus trail mix, peanut m&ms, and jelly beans. Yum! It was perfect timing too because just yesterday my hiker hunger was hitting hard and I was already fantasizing about town food.
Hiking the remainder of the day was relatively easy for which I am thankful because my legs are feeling tired from all the steep ups and downs the past few days.
I've already decided that I need to come back to Badger Wilderness to spend more time leisurely enjoying the beauty of this place. Maybe bag a few peaks too, I don't know, I don't know if there'll be time.