I was woken first by a herd of something (elk?) crashing through my campsite, then by early morning day hikers on their way up San Luis Peak. I got moving quickly in the cold and warmed up fast as I climbed out of the Stewart Creek basin and up the slopes of the mountain. I passed the day hikers and had the top to myself. It was beautiful but really, really cold.
I came down the other side, reconnecting with the CDT and then I ran into a bunch more hikers out bagging San Luis. I was already tired out but had more climbing to do all day. I could have just taken it easy, but I figured I could get to Lake City by dinner time if I followed a regular pace.
The last 6 miles to the highway were on Snow Mesa, a relatively flat area up really high, with great views of all the mountains I’ll be in for the next week.
I hitched into town with the 3rd car to go by in about half an hour. For some reason I didn’t have cell service, and town is split in two parts, all the restaurants at one end, and groceries/lodging at the other. I wanted to stay at a hostel, so I went in but it was deserted. There was a sign saying to call the guy that runs it, but my phone wasn’t working, and there were no other phones around. I ended up just hanging around until other people showed up later that night, eventually calling the guy at 9pm, only to find out the hostel was totally booked up. I had enjoyed their wifi and TV all evening, so I wasn’t too upset to walk over to an RV park in the dark and camped there.
Date: Sept 24, 2011
Daily Distance: 21.3 miles
Trip Distance: 1778 miles