Spent Tuesday hanging out at the Hostel and really only leaving to use one of their free bikes to get to restaurants. I arranged to have dinner with Lucky Joe, Chance, and his parents. I met up with a CDT hiker named Freebie, who has been just behind me pretty much the whole way. He was very nice. I also re-met Matt the section hiker, who had bailed out half way through the section. His partner wanted to go too fast and he decided to just bounce off the trail, and then get back on in a few days after some rest.
Chance tried to tempt me with a slack pack, but I stuck with resting.
I talked to my parents, brother and girlfriend. Great to really catch up with so many people :). Dinner with Chance’s family was really nice, and then we played their crazy variation of spades for a bit (Hailey here.. my fault.. I taught him a crazy way 🙂 ). Eventually I headed back to the hostel.
Wednesday I wanted to head out to hike, but I had to wait for a FedEx delivery of warmer pants. No one else was around by midmorning, so I had to stay at the hostel to greet the FedEx guy. Around noon I got hungry and ran over to a pizza place and ordered, then went back to the hostel while I waited. Sure enough, FedEx guy had come in the 5 minutes I was gone. I chased him down on a bike and got my package. Then my pizza.
I finally packed up and headed out of town, which turned out to be a bit of an adventure. First a 2 mile walk to the highway, and along it to a good hitching spot. A cop pulled over and told me there is no hitching in town, but I could go another mile and it would be OK. Then he ran my driver’s license “just to be sure”. He was actually very nice about the whole thing. So after walking the mile, I quickly got a ride by an older guy in a Camaro. He immediately offered me a hit off his pot pipe (for the record, I declined politely). Turned out he was only going a few miles my way, so he dropped me off at a highway intersection and I went back to hitching. After another hour I got another ride and another pot offer (declined). The young guy (whose name I sadly forgot) was a snowboarder and mountain biker who builds trails for a living. He has been up to Whistler to ride downhill and we had a good chat as we drove. He also wasn’t going where I was but decided to take me up to the trail anyways. Great of him for sure.
So I finally hit the trail about 3 hours after I left Salida. I immediately discovered that I had lost/forgotten my maps and guidebook pages for the day. This drives me crazy because I look at them constantly, even when the trail is obvious. Also there was a karma aspect, as I had somewhat bragged to Freebie and Matt that I never lose stuff on the trail. Anyways, it turned out this section is joined with the Colorado Trail so it was well marked and well graded.
I hiked until sunset, walking through beautiful orange and red rays until the perfect campsite popped up.
Date: Sept 20-21, 2011
Daily Distance: 11 miles
Trip Distance: 1694.8 miles