Daily Miles: 15
Total Miles: 490
We slept in an extra hour this morning, since we were already at the spot where our friend, Andrew, was going to be picking us up. So, all we had to do was pack up our stuff. It was a pretty chilly night, with the evening rain and being near a creek. When we woke, everything just felt moist…not wet really, but damp-ish.
Andrew picked us up at 7:30am and brought us back to his house, where his wife, Donna, made us a delicious breakfast. It was our first time getting to meet Donna, so we were excited to be able to spend some time with them both.
We had a really great time chatting with them and hearing all about their lives in Leadville. We were enjoying ourselves so much, that we managed to lose track of time and before we knew it, it was already 11:00am. So, Andrew took us back to the trail and we started our walking for the day just before noon.
We had already picked a spot 15 miles up the trail to meet MountainMan and Ace, so we knew we had to keep a steady pace in order to arrive at a reasonable time. Luckily the trail wasn’t too difficult today. We had some good climbing, but nothing too big, and there was a lot of flat or downhill walking.
We were surprised that the trail was super quiet for the first four hours today. Once we got closer to trailheads for Mount Massive and Mount Elbert (both 14,000 footers), we started to see a lot more people. A few people seemed to be finishing their hikes, but most were camped already for the day, presumably to get an early start on the mountain tomorrow.
As we were walking near the turn off to climb Mount Massive, a hiker recognized Beardoh. Turns out they had never met, but our friend, Qball, is a mutual friend and had told this guy, Maverick, to keep an eye out for Beardoh on the trail. It was a pretty random moment.
It started to sprinkle around 5:00pm and gradually increased to steady rain. We put our ponchos on, but we are not feeling good about our ponchos these days. We had made them ourselves by repurposing cuben fiber we had used for other tarps. It seems like the cuben is getting rotten or something and we are getting wet on the inside. Beardoh’s is a lot worse than SweetPea’s and he even just pulled it off this evening, thinking he would get equally wet without it on. Looks like we’ll be looking for an alternative when we get to our next town stop.
We got to our meetup spot with MountainMan and Ace around 6:45pm. We were wet and chilled and ready to eat dinner. The other two had been at the campsite since 3:30pm, since they had gotten back on the trail much earlier than us this morning.
It is still chilly and all our gear that was moist this morning still feels damp. At least when we get bundled up, we warm up pretty quickly. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll wake up to a dry and warm day.