More Trail, More Tales, More Colorado
I’ve been busy, and it has been hard to keep this thing updated. I write in a journal nightly but sometimes I’m too tired to write again into my phone. So that’s something I need to work on.
I zeroed in Breckenridge and headed out the next day. The day hiking after a zero tends to be slow; I always find a lack of motivation.
I knew there was a storm coming on the 24th… just a classic Colorado thunderstorm. I knew a lot of the trail for this section is above treeline. I knew I would have to account for the missed miles if I can’t hit my average of 30 miles.
I decided to take advantage of the great weather the day before to give me some wiggle room with my mileage. I ended up doing 39.5 miles. Perfect. Early in the day the CDT and Colorado Trail separated, which left me hiking on poorly marked and rough trails. There were several large climbs. That included Gray’s Peak, the highest peak on trail. The peak is roughly 14,250 feet. I finished my day at the I-70 highway crossing and slept in the parking lot. This was my hardest day yet.
Because of the storms the next day I did have to take an alternate to a lower altitude. I also set up my tent after 18 miles once it started snowing at about 1 p.m. Later, once it cleared up, I kept hiking and finished the day at Berthoud Pass.
The rest of the section into Grand Lake was filled with some more ridge walking. Then the trail descended. I camped at another trailhead, and I woke up with frost inside my tent. Naturally ,I spent the morning drying everything out in the warm morning sun.
Grand Lake is a lovely little resort. The trail went right through town. I was able to resupply and buy real food. The hostel had a bed available so I opted for that luxury.
The next day I hiked out and through Rocky Mountain National Park. The tourists provided the entertainment for the morning as I wandered through the woods.
The stretch into Steamboat was short. I needed to the get to town Saturday morning to retrieve a box from the post office.
On the 28th I was able to knock out 28 miles. It was an exciting day. For one, I kept finding phone service, which is distracting for me. Secondly, I witnessed the eruption of two wildfires. The first one I found out was in the Silverthorne area, not too far from trail. The second one was far to the north; I’m guessing it was in Wyoming.
The next day I finished 30 miles by 5:30. It was a lot of road walking, it was sunny, and there was a lack of shade. So I never really took any lengthy breaks. Of course I was also excited because this was my last day of hiking before my vacation. My parents flew into Denver on Sunday and I was planning on taking a full week off trail. So I hiked all the way to the hitching point to get into Steamboat.
The next morning I hitched into Steamboat Springs and met up with some friends and I got my vacation started. I was excited to take a week off with my family and also to reconnect with my brother, who was a little farther south on trail.
6/22: 15 miles
6/23: 39.5 miles
6/24: 20.5 miles
6/25: 32.5 miles
6/26: 23.5 miles into Grand Lake
6/27: 20.5 miles leaving Grand Lake
6/28: 28 miles
6/29: 30.5 miles into Steamboat
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