Up early, then took a ride with Lou, the hostel warden, into Estes Park. Bought our lunch for the day, then walked all the way up into the National Park to where the road for Bear Lake branches off – that was a fair old walk. We hitched there, and it took about 45 minutes to get a ride, but it was worth it, being all the way to the lake itself, about 10 miles. From Bear Lake, we took the trail up to Fern Lake, past Odessa Lake. The first part was hard work, being uphill for a couple of miles, but we found, by concentrating on our breathing, we were able to forget the ache in our legs. The scenery, of course, was magnificent, tho’ there did seem to be lots of places which were choked with dead trees. We lunched at Fern Lake, just after the most beautiful part of the walk, when we dropped down towards the lakes, along the side of a mountain (and thro’ some snow!) In contrast, the second half of the walk was something of an anti-climax, because there was not much to see. On the plus side, tho’, the walk was considerably easier, being all downhill, and we were tired. Eventually, we reached a dirt road (after stopping for Val to paddle her feet in the river), and were plodding along that for a short while, when we got a lift, all the way back to about half a mile from Estes Park. Already in the car was Joe, another guy from the hostel, so we walked back in from there with him, bought our groceries, and then lay on the grass, totally shattered, waiting for Lou to take us back to the hostel at 5. When we arrived back, we found we could have joined in a communal spaghetti, but we had already bought our food, so we had to forgo that, which was a pity. Still, our dinner – sausages, eggs and potatoes – was nice. Once again, we spent what was left of the evening relaxing, before to bed for an earlier night.
Good to know we made it to bed at the end of the day! Still, as I have said before (and will do so again) the diary is what it is, for good or ill (and, all too often, filled with trivial minutiae.)