The snow continued into the night but stopped by morning, letting us get started in relatively dry conditions. We had a small climb and then big drop to a highway. Then we had a very long climb up above 10,000ft then stayed above there for a few hours. What made things interesting is that it started snowing heavily as we climbed. By the time we hit the top there was a solid 6 inches of snow on the ground, making following the trail a challenge. Also, the footing was tough due to the snow covering loose rocks and roots. We were warm enough while we climbed but cooled down once we were on top.
The continued mantra was that we would make it to Circle A Ranch and sleep in a bed instead of our wet tents and sleeping bags. The other thought I had was pure schadenfreude – thankful I wasn’t still way up in the San Juans, probably getting a foot of snow dumped on me.
We eventually dropped down far enough to get out of snow and motored down to the ranch right as the sun was setting. It’s right at the end of their season, so it is very quiet and not much was available for us, but that worked out fine. A warm shower to get my hands functioning again and just eating our trail dinners indoors as the rain picked up again was pretty nice.
Date: Oct 7, 2011
Daily Distance: 29 miles
Trip Distance: 2089.9 miles