6/8, day 43, 19.5 mi., 12,700′
Weminuche Wilderness is behind and ahead of us because we are camped at Beartown Road. A wilderness area doesn’t have roads so a thorn is carved out of the side of the wilderness. We will re-enter tomorrow and turn north.
Today consisted of hiking up over 3 passes: Ute Mtn, Nebo and Hunchback Passes. At each one we looked back to say goodbye to the spectacular area that we had just gone through and then turned forward to even better sights. I shot a 36 ex. roll of film today.
I finally figured out why hiking is so difficult besides the altitude and navigation. There are no switchbacks. Up is much steeper than what we are used to. Many trails seem to be watercourses. The largest number of trail users, by far, is elk. Hooves dig channels up to thigh deep and then the elk will start additional parallel trails. I’m not complaining. It seems to me that I’m the visitor on their turf. We saw 2 small groups of elk today. That’s not uncommon. But we still cannot get close enough to get a picture.