Miles: 23 Steps: 47,601 Vertical gain: 4,000 feet Liquid consumed: 170 oz Wildlife: 4 moose, one of which I nearly ran into!!!!! Faith in Humanity: long ride on brand new Ranger ATV from super cool Steamboat locals, hiking with, talking to and camping with Tree, and exceptionally cool fellow hiker, great times! Who would have thought: another fun, amazing, interesting day in the life. Slept in as late as possible (7am!), showered and got ready to go and packed my backpack. Cruised out the door to the bus and a friendly bus driver gave me directions. To where? I hiked the popular Spring Creek Trail 6 miles to a road, then hiked 4 miles on the road before getting picked up by some awesome Steamboat locals and their brand new side by side ATV. It was sweet. I'd always wanted to go for a ride in one and this was a top of the line $16,000 2017 version. And? On crazy 4WD technical roads. So much fun, seriously thank you, you all weee really nice cool people! Quick story: on the Spring Creek Trail I literally came within 6-8 feet of a bull moose! I found a corner: BOOM MOOSE! I quickly back away. Then I try to go off the trail to the right and bypass the moose: Another Moose! Ahh! I then bypass via the left side, but they were definitely huffing and puffing at me a bit as I passed. Then I saw a guy on a mountain bike and warned him: he ended up turning around to avoid a confrontation. I recommended he bushwhack around like I did but he didn't seem too keen! The next 2 moose I saw was a mother and her baby. Mom was pretty irritated but didn't charge or anything. Back on the CDT after the sweet ATV ride I met a really cool CDT hiker named Tree from Michigan. Tree and I hit it off really well. We both admitted we had been a bit lonely on the trail so we hiked together for a full 6 hours or so and even camped together. He's great! A principal/superintendent of a school in Michigan. He's going into Steamboat so sadly we likely won't hike together more, but I really enjoyed our time together and I think he did too. So very cool to hike with another hiker for a while. Somewhere like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail in prime season, you interact with many hikers on a daily basis. Out here? You rarely even see them and a lot of times when you do it's a 20 minute or much less experience. It's not bad or anything, but just the way it is! Ok it's almost 11pm in my tent and I'm still journaling! Past my bedtime!