Daily Miles: 22
Total Miles: 126
Even though we just wrote a post two days ago, it seems like a lot of time has passed. We had a good zero day with our friend, Andrew, in Frisco. We got some town chores done in the morning and then headed to Breckinridge in the afternoon to check it out.
In the early afternoon, we noticed some smoke coming from the general direction of the Colorado Trail. Within an hour, there was a lot of dark smoke billowing from that area. We checked online and learned that the fire was on and around the CT (the section we were planning to head into today) and that the section of trail was closed. The fire seemed to spread quickly, and a neighborhood near Breckinridge was evacuated.
We took the local bus up to Breckinridge and spent some time walking around the town. We went through the small history museum, walked along Main Street and checked out their nice library. It was a nice town and quite popular with the tourists.
We had brought bikes on the bus and then rode them back to Frisco. As we passed the area where the fire was, it seemed like the smoke had diminished quite a bit. Not sure when the trail is reopening, but we decided to just start today at the next section (about 13 miles up the trail). We can easily return at the end of the hike and finish the last section as a day-hike.
Andrew gave us a ride to the trail this morning. We were really glad that we had the chance to reconnect with him after so many years. Hopefully we’ll get to see him again in a few weeks when we come back to hike the closed section.
The trail today started at a ski resort, and we did a fair bit of climbing as we crossed some ski runs and ski lifts. The trail seemed busier today with CT and CDT hikers. We even came across two guys who were working on the trail. One of the guys has “adopted” seven miles of the trail, which means that he takes charge of maintaining the trail. He had already been out for a few days with his friend working on improving his stretch of trail.
Today seemed like the first day where we had the views we have always associated with the Colorado Trail…deep, wide valleys of bright green with snow capped peaks all around. It was picturesque as we climbed over two 12,000 feet passes. The first pass was so calm and warm. The second pass had strong winds and a mix of rain and hail.
Most of the afternoon was spent going downhill. In the middle of the afternoon, we were passing some CDT hikers going in the opposite direction, and then recognized one of the hikers as Wrong Way, who we first met on the AT in 2011, and then Beardoh spent a few days hiking with him on the PCT in 2012. He is currently hiking the CDT for the third time. He has hiked the AT three times and the PCT twice. We spent over an hour catching up with him. It was such a great surprise to see him again and to learn about what he has been doing. He is really one of the nicest guys we’ve met on the trails.
After we left Wrong Way, we hiked for another forty minutes and then stopped for our dinner break. The mosquitoes were terrible, but we were happy to eat Indian food for dinner! Definitely one of our favorite meals, but since it is heavy, we limit ourselves to only when we have a short food carry. Since the bugs were so bad, we headed out again as soon as we were finished eating.
We found a pretty nice spot for our hammocks a little before 7pm. The mosquitoes are awful here too. They definitely tested our patience, while we set up our hammocks and got cleaned up for bed. Now they are just buzzing around our hammocks.
Our schedule is a bit off now, since we skipped ahead 13 miles. We had planned to get into the town of Leadville by tomorrow evening, but we are currently only three miles from the road to Leadville. So, our current plan is to go in tomorrow morning, have breakfast, pick up our resupply and come back out to the trail. If we are able to get in another ten miles after our town stop, that will help us reduce our required daily averages for the next stretch.