Miles: 26.2 Steps: 48,442 Vertical gain: 4,898 feet Liquid consumed: 144 oz. Wildlife: squirrels, pine Martin (they are so curious!), pika, marmot Faith in Humanity: met a bunch of really nice, friendly strangers today that completely brightened my day ! Yay, I survived the crazy thunderstorm Again! Cold and wet in the morning to start the hike. Today was great interval training. Climb 500 feet, down 500, climb 1,000 down 1,000 and repeat. Weather stayed really nice all day, enjoyed the Mount Massive Wilderness. I met a cool girl from Poland who was thru hiking the CT but of course going the opposite direction. She was really fun to talk to and I wish her the best! I also met a bow hunter who was stalking a buck for a few days then the buck just disappeared so he was a bit disappointed. I came out to a Trailhead and a group of guys from Nebraska was a bit overwhelmed with my enthusiasm, haha. Hope they had fun climbing Elbert. I chatted with a group of 4 at the Mt. Elbert Trailhead for a while and they were cool and suggested some camping for me. I've been debating the last few days if I was going to climb Elbert and I finally decided: YES! Why not! I continued on trail until the CDT and Mt. Elbert trail split and set up camp below the trail. I heard so much Elk bugling that night it was crazy. They seemed quite close too which was a little disheartening, but no Elk came into camp. Mt. Elbert starting at 4am! Woo!