I decided that I was going to go back to waking up at 5:30 am, so I woke up and was completely packed up by 5:50 - a ten minute improvement from normal! I felt 10 times better today, compared to yesterday, after a good night sleep. As I hiked, I knew that it was going to be a big mile day.
Today I ran into more day and weekend hikers than thru hikers. I only saw maybe 4 thru hikers in total today. Thankfully, there was relatively a small amount of snow to cross, which was nice. I choose to glissade twice to get down some snowy patches.
By the time I had stopped for lunch at 12:30, I had hiked 18 miles. This morning, I had only seen 1 other person, a thru hiker who I had seen yesterday, that hiked later in the evening than I did. For lunch, I enjoyed some salami, cheese, and a good view. After lunch, I passed 2 different sets of ski slopes with lifts belonging to different resorts.
Not much else happened between lunch and stopping for the day, except for another glissade. I stopped at a tent site near a stream and decided to cowboy camp around 6:15. I found a sunny spot to have dinner and to dry out my shoes and socks near the place I set out my tarp. While I was finishing up eating, a weekend hiker came over. He and his friend were out hiking with his dog. He asked me about thru hiking and what it was like, how much it cost, that kind of thing.
He mentioned that he had done hiking in Colorado in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I told him that last summer I worked in the New Mexico side of the range at Philmont Scout Ranch. Turned out that he worked there as well, as part of the grounds department. We swapped stories and I shared that I had only worked there for 2 weeks before being transferred to Northern Tier Canoe Base in Minnesota. We talked for 40 minutes. It was crazy to run into someone who also worked at Philmont out here. He was the second person I have met so far on the trail who worked at Philmont last summer.