6/13, day 48, 24 miles, 11,110 elev
Our high for the day was our campsite last night. It is hard to believe that trails here exist under 12,000 feet. We slept in this morning – I blame it on all that thick air below 12,000 feet.
Word for today: Cochetopa.
We spent 14 miles following Cochetopa Creek down the hill. The valley is filled with beaver dams. Big ones that were as wide as the valley. Many times the valley looked like terraces of a water garden.
After that we crossed over a couple of hills into Cochetopa Park, following fresh bear tracks part of the way. We spent the rest of the day hiking in this 10-20 mile meadow. Tonight we are camped on the edge of it.
Cochetopa is the Ute Indian word for buffalo. They hunted them in the ‘park’. The Indians named a low pass Cochtopa Pass. It has been used by humans to cross the Continental Divide for many hundreds of years.