July 9: Day 21(1810.8 – 1828.2) 17.4 miles
Something about a hard day makes you sleep so soundly. It must have pretty cold during the night as well, because our socks and shoes were frozen solid when we awoke.
Luckily there were large boulders nearby so we could pound our shoes out enough to squeeze our swollen feet into them.
Today was all about going downhill. Rock cluttered trail soon turned into easy wooded trail, which became the norm for the day. In fact, at mile 1812.6 we walked on the most perfect trail for about 30 yards. Perfectly flat and cushy, like walking on carpet.
As we were nearly to the Green River Valley floor, we were besotted by blow downs galore.
Not just one or two trees, but “flocks” of them at a time. This made for ridiculous impromptu “parkour” reroutes. This went on for 3-4 miles.
Once we hit the valley floor, we were in awe of the narrow valley of which the aptly named Green River ran through.
It was if we were walking in a “mini” Yosemite Valley.
Beautiful green meadows with massive granite walls and towering peaks.
We crossed side tributaries of the Green River several times until a hearty bridge put us on one side of the Green River that led to Lower Green River Lake.
* Interesting side note: The Green River Lakes are major tributaries to the Colorado River system that empties into the Sea of Cortez.
We walked along side the river and came upon a man lounging on its bank.
We struck up a conversation with the man (Rick) and it turns out that he had hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1975. He had great stories and we compared town stops. Funny how things trailside stay the same over the years. He walked and talked with us for several miles, as he was returning to his kayak to paddle back to Upper Green River Lake where he was camped.
Once we departed from Rick’s company, we thought we got a great idea. We’d cross over to the other side of Upper Green River Lake and walk to the campground and see if we could Yogi a beer or soda from some campers. Dumb idea. Nobody was really out and about their campers as we went through. We had to settle for water at the spigot. From there we crossed the bridge back onto the CDT, where we came across another CDT hiker, “Lunar” who was fishing. He and his wife “Luna” were flip flop “self-supporting” sections of the CDT. We would see them two other times.
We ended up setting up camp near the river and next to an old now abandoned cabin. Here we would see and have our first wildlife encounter, with a cow moose who trotted by us while we heated water for dinner.