Daily Miles: 25
Total Miles: 550
There were several more hikers that came and camped near us last night. One of them apparently plays a few notes on the flute when they wake up. We heard the flute at 4:50am this morning…nice, but too early.
Within a mile of starting this morning, we ran into a couple that we had met on the Colorado Trail in 2017. They are currently out hiking the Collegiate Peaks Loop. We recognized each other pretty quickly and it was nice catching up with them for a few minutes.
Today was a pretty challenging and spectacular day. Most of our day was spent above tree line with amazing views all around. There was also a lot of climbing today. We climbed over 6,000 feet, but it was broken up into small 800ish foot climbs. It was a good way to go, because we would get a downhill break between all the climbs. It was still very exhausting, but the scenery made it worth it.
We were extremely lucky with the weather today, given the fact that we were above tree line for so long. The grey clouds didn’t appear until probably after 4pm, when we had completed the bulk of the high walking.
We stopped to make dinner around 5pm. We were about a quarter mile from the peak of our final climb. We watched as the grey clouds came closer to where we were sitting. We ate fast, and were just packing up and getting our rain gear on when the rain and hail started.
We walked as quickly as we could down towards the trees. There was a lot of thunder, but it looked like we were just skirting the rain. We even saw a rainbow over the valley as we were walking down.
Our final few miles of trail were actually on an old railroad bed. It seemed like a pretty narrow and precarious place to put a railroad track. The walking for us was very easy with a slight downhill slope. There were several informational signs on the trail about the railroad and the dangers inherent with the track, including snow, rock slides, and very tight turns.
We made it to camp at a trailhead by 7:30pm and we’re feeling tired. It is definitely going to be another really cold night…we can already tell. But on the bright side, there’s a porta-potty here that we’ll be able to use tomorrow morning!