Daily Miles: 22
Total Miles: 589
We had a nice day off in Salida. It is a really cool town with everything you could need. We were able to get some things at the local outfitter, pick up some groceries and get several packages from the post office. And to top it off, we went to the Pancake Patio for lunch. It was a memorable spot to eat when we were on the Colorado Trail, so we wanted to go again.
This morning, we had arranged for a trail angel to bring us back out to Monarch Pass, where we had gotten off. It all went smoothly and we were back on the trail by 8am. The trail was so smooth and gradual leaving the pass…it felt good to be back outside.
Apparently that area is very popular with mountain bikers as well. We probably saw close to 30 bikers this morning. They were all going the same direction as us, which means that we passed each individual biker multiple times. What would happen was they would pass us, then stop to rest, we would pass them, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. It got rather annoying at a certain point, but we just tried to focus on the beautiful weather and the beautiful views.
Besides the bikers, it was pretty quiet on the trail today. We saw a few day hikers, one CT section hiker and then no one until we were ready to camp. We were a bit surprised give the number of hikers we had seen over the past few days.
The trail was pretty easy today and we were able to get in the miles, even with a late start. We stopped at 5pm to make dinner, but it started to rain on us. At first we thought it was just going to be a few drops, so we just huddled under a pine tree. But then it seemed like it would turn into legit rain, so we put up a tarp.
As soon as the tarp was up the rain and hail started in earnest. It got pretty heavy at times, but we just waited it out in the relative dryness of the tarp. When it felt like the rain was over, we packed up and kept walking, but the rain started coming down heavy again.
As we walked, the trail had become a little river, so we were trying to navigate around it. We probably should have just stopped and put up our hammocks for the night, but for some reason we had a particular waypoint in our minds for camping tonight.
The rain lightened up as we walked, but once we finally had a tolerable campsite, the rain really came down again. Setting up in the rain is never our favorite thing to do, but we’ve gotten used to it this summer. It is still raining as we lay in our hammocks, so we have crossed our fingers for blue skies tomorrow morning.