Day 105 – 111 Snow!
Day 105 – Zero in Lake City
Decided early in the day to wait out the windstorm and stay another day in Lake City. Which given the wind and the weather later in the day was the right decision. Ride arranged for 8:15 tomorrow to get back on trail.
Lake city is not my first choice of zero locations, admittedly. It was a rather boring day. Though I did download Through the Ages. Computer/phone adaptation of the board game of the same name. Which itself is a boardgame adaptation of the computer game Civilization.
Well, one of the first things I saw today was snow in town. Somewhat ominous. Nevertheless, we headed up to the pass to hike. We had arranged for a ride early in the morning through the local pastor who found us a ride.
We did slide off the road on the way up. It was easy to push the car back on the road so it was a non issue, albeit a scary one. We came a few inches from hitting a small aspen.
Safely at the pass we set off into the snow. The first half of the day the snow wasn’t too bad. Mostly under 3-4 inches. The second half along the ridge had more snow and some rather large snow drifts.
It was slow going, but camp eventually came and now my feet are warming up, dinner, and all the comforts of camp.
First day complete of what is, I suspect, the hardest remaining section.
Very cold morning. I had to thaw my shoes out in order to put them on. Hiked 4 or so miles through the snow before opting for a low alternate with Brock and Hana. They didn’t have enough food for the section at the pace we were going. I had a bit more but was tired and it seemed like a good idea. Pierre and Rick Flair continued on the ridge so we’ll see them in Pagosa.
Descending into the valley was pretty awesome though. It had some pretty nice views with more contrast than the ridge top views. The latter was also beautiful but after awhile felt like ‘yep, another snow covered ridge.’
Will be climbing back up to the ridge tomorrow so the section will have a good mix of ridge and valley.
Well, a mouse got into my food back last night. Chewed into a bag of leftover trail mix and, more appropriately, my cheese. Evidently I didn’t cinch the ursack completely closed.
Aside from that, the low route was great. Getting back on the CDT was easy. The snow has melted out a surprising amount but there was still were varying amounts of snow depending on the face of the ridge.
The end of the day found us on a somewhat sketchy traverse. We managed, though it’s some of the sketchier hiking I’ve done.
Got to camp where there was a group of thru hikers already there. They had hiked out of silverton a few days prior. Largest on trail gathering I’ve seen in a bit.
Significantly less snow than the previous few days. Still a lot of snow travel but there was plenty of bare trail. And loads of muddy trail which is probably as much of a nuisance as the snow.
Made the stretch mileage goal today which will make for an easy day into town tomorrow. Also due to poor planning spent the last part of the day hiking with my headlamp on dim because had forgotten to charge it, whoops.
Day 110 – Into Pagosa
Marched the 10 miles into town relatively quickly this morning. It wasn’t nearly as snowy and a bit less muddy than the previous few days. Arrivived at Wolf Creek pass to see three hikers already hitching. Hana and Brock showed up a few minutes later and there were six of us hitching. Though after a couple jeeps picked up one of us each the rest of us piled into a suburban with a very energetic golden retriever and a woman who made us promise not to murder her (we didn’t). It turned out to be one of the nicer hitches I’ve had.
Pagosa Springs is a nice town though a bit spread out. Sketchy looking but comfortable hotel. Zeroing here while waiting for Pierre and Rick Flair to catch up.
Trying to sort out some tent issues with Big Agnes. Though with it being Sunday I’m kinda stuck.
Day 111 – Pagosa zero
Not doing much today. Laundry and watching tv in a hotel room. Sounds boring but not walking is fascinating sometimes.
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