Daily Miles: 9
Total Miles: 348
It was nice to wake up in town and know that we didn’t have to rush to get back out to the trail. We knew we were only going to do nine miles today, so we didn’t need to try to hitch early. There is a group of volunteers in Lake City who have organized a daily shuttle to and from the trailhead, which is 18 miles up a winding road from town. The volunteers rotate each day with someone driving the hikers to trail at noon and then bringing back any hikers at the trailhead who want to go into town. It is such a great service, as the hitch is very difficult.
This morning, Beardoh went to the post office to pick up our mail drop while SweetPea went to the store for breakfast. We got all of our stuff organized and packed and we’re out of our cabin by 10am.
The couple from NH that we had spent time with in Salida, Ariel and Ana, were at the neighboring motel, so we hung out with them for a bit. They are ending their hike, as Ana’s knee has been in bad shape for a week now, and to top it off, she got a stomach bug yesterday. We were disappointed for them, as they have been planning for this hike for awhile. But, they are going to hang out in CO for another week or more doing some fun stuff. Hopefully we’ll see them again in Durango.
We got lunch in town before heading to the shuttle back to the trail. We were surprised that we were the only hikers heading to the trail in the shuttle, since there were probably 25+ hikers in town. It seems most are taking a zero day, so it looks like we are on the edge of a huge hiker bubble.
We got back to the trailhead at 12:30pm, just as it was starting to rain. We huddled under a covered information kiosk for 45 minutes until the rain stopped. The sky cleared up and we headed out in the trail.
A lot of the trail this afternoon was old jeep tracks. It was pretty muddy from the rain, and our shoes got a thick layer of mud on the bottom.
We saw about 8 bike packers this afternoon. Most are part of an informal race from Durango to Denver which started yesterday morning at 4am. We were surprised that they had made it this far already!
We ended the day at a yurt which is managed by the Colorado Trail Foundation. There were three hikers leaving the yurt when we showed up. One was Bravo who we had breakfast with in town yesterday. He hiked the PCT last year and is hiking the CDT this year. We were planning to just stop in and check out the yurt, but it was cozy inside, so we decided to hang out for a bit. We made dinner and then it started to rain. We decided to stay in the yurt tonight where it is dry. It is just us, so hopefully we should be able to sleep good. We wanted an early start tomorrow, since we are heading into a long stretch above treeline (about 30 miles). Sleeping inside will allow us to pack up quickly in the morning and get on the trail by 6am. We don’t expect to do the whole treeless section in one day, but we want to limit the nights we have to sleep on the ground to just one.