Smoke n' Guns

Day 23 Segment 4/3/2

25.1mi 2,290ft Elevation Gain

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I climbed out of the Wilderness area and started to hear gunshots. They grew louder and louder as I walked by the source. Guns — YEEEEHAW!   

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Aspen are the first to fill a forest after a fire. This grove appeared rather old with a canopy far over head. After the toasty exposed day I had yesterday the dappled shade was a welcome relief. 

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I don't know where the fire was but the smoke filled the sky. It didn't effect my breathing so I didn't much mind. I enjoyed the exaggerated atmospheric perspective. 

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The forests I passed through this day were all in various states of being maintained. The tree tops in a healthy ponderosa forest don't touch. Forest crews had come by and thinned the trees out. The ones that remained stood alone, only marred by a bright blue slash of spray paint. Fern Gully? 

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Just before getting to this sign a semi panicked solo hiker asked me if I had seen another southbound hiker. I was able to recognize and confirm that the hiker she was looking for was only a half mile ahead. Apparently her hiking partner had just quit and bailed on the 'little scraggy trail.' I wonder if this shoe had anything to do with it. 

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The trail was perfectly smooth — a roller coaster for mountain bikes.  

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I like areas like these — why not let locals pick the scraps for their homes? 

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The landscape shifted as I dropped lower and lower down.  Beautiful large boulders were beautifully clustered together. 

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Finally some relief from all the blasting. 

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The birds were quiet and the sky was apocalyptic. 

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"Covenants Enforced" — Which covenants? Weird 

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Blood Red.