I saw lights on my tent at 430. I called out a Howdy and the hiker said she was trying to beat the weather. Another hiker went by at 445. I got up and got going before the sun, about 545. The first three miles were mostly downhill. I didn’t see my biking buddy who said he was going to camp at the river. I headed uphill and under the legs of a power tower before getting down to highway 50 at about 9 miles for the day. I tried to hitch to the top of monarch so I could hike the next section downhill. But I had no luck at all. Next time I need to hike with someone pretty! I headed on, frustrated.. a 3 mile road walk and ran into a fisherman who told me storms were coming in. As we parted ways he offered me a Gatorade. This helped restore my faith in humanity. Since storms were coming I hustled. But they came early. About 1pm the sky opened up. Hail, pouring rain and nearby lightning. I scrambled under some trees and hid below the tree line during the worst of the lightning. While it was still pouring I headed on up. The top of South Fooses creek was very very steep and totally washed away would the storm. I had a goal to hit the Continental Divide Trail by 3pm. I popped up top at 2:57 and met a hiker on the CDT who had the same goal. We visited a bit and I headed north on the CDT. I met several thru hikers and dirt bikers and visited along the ridge. I got down to Monarch at 5pm and got my resupply box. I got a big bowl of ice cream and before long my dad had come to pick me up.
I’m taking a Saturday zero day to visit with family then I’ll start back north on the CDT Sunday.