Miles: 28 Steps: 54,315 Vertical gain: Strava Knows Liquid consumed: 162 oz Wildlife: Porcupine next to trail, wild horses. Cattle, Pronghorn (got within 50 yards of one, that's the closest by far!), roadkill tiny snake Unless I really really need to, I don't see any reason to leave a hotel early. I paid for it. Check out is 11am. I love outside and the hotel provides shelter, showers, and so much more. So, I slept in until the absurd hour of 7:30am! I took another shower (that's 3 in 3 days, which is a lot!), and ate some breakfast. A woman at breakfast failed so badly at making a waffle and it was super stuck to the waffle maker. She was embarrassed and just picked at it fir a good 20 minutes, pretty much the whole time I was there! Kind of amusing but I felt a little bad for her. I slowly packed up and did a few more errands on my phone. I was tempted to stay until checkout time, bit left at 9:45. From town there's an immediate 30 mile waterless stretch and I needed to cover some ground. My pack was absurdly heavy leaving town. 6.5 liters of water and 8 days worth of food to make it to Steamboat Springs. My shoulders are still whining about it. The official route was a weird cross country route, so I opted for the alternate low traffic road. I could have continued on the road alternate and skipped 15 miles of official trail, but I wasn't sure I had enough water, and when I got to the official route I really wanted to explore the area as it looked pretty cool. No one is out here. Everyone must be going for the eclipse North of here. I debated hitching North, but quickly dismissed the idea. I'm sure the eclipse is really cool, but so is every day of this trip. No need to spend time and money on something clouds do to the sun ok a daily basis. I am excited to see everything unfold tomorrow, however! I did see one other hiker today, and his pack was enormous, way bigger than mine. It's cool to see people out here doing things however they damn well please! Freedom! The last few hours of the hike the sky was quite dark over head. I was worried the lightning would start popping any second, but I slowly made it past the storm and all is well. Ok exhausted now, bed time! Almost made it to 9pm, haha!