Day 15 – Meet You In the Middle(ish)

Trailhead 1

Step one for today was drop John off Tennessee Pass at 6:00 am. His plan was to hike 20 miles south to Rock Creek.

Trailhead 2

Step two was to drive past Leadville to the Mt. Massive parking lot. My plan was to hike 7 miles north to Rock Creek. I’ll miss seeing the lakes today, but it’s mileage I can handle while John makes (lots) of forward progress on the trail. Bonus- we still get to hang out together at camp.


On my hike this morning I passed the side trail up to Mt. Massive. The mountain really is well, massive.

I felt good with the cool temps (41 degrees at the trailhead!) and low mileage so I couldn’t resist. I took out my food bag, tied it to a tree and clipped a stuff sack of everything else I didn’t need to it. Then off I went up the hill.

I hiked a little less than halfway up and it was the best place to stop for lunch. The views stretched from where I dropped John off 23 miles ago, to all the way to Twin Lakes 12 miles from here. You could see the whole town of Leadville laid out in the valley below.

This lunch view convinced me of two things. One- I want to share it with John. Two- we have to come back for sunrise. After finishing my lunch (at 10:30!) and getting chilled on the mountain it was time to come down. My lunch theory is that people get up at 7 am and eat at noon. If I get up at 5 am I can definitely eat at 10:30 am. I timed my trip and was twice as fast coming down than going up.

Meeting at Camp

Even though I hiked 10 miles and John hiked 20 miles, we arrived within 30 minutes of each other at our planned campsite. Plenty of camping with a roaring creek. It was good timing, I had eaten all my snacks and John had animal cookies to share

Hiding in the tent from the passing storm

Long Lost Carabiner

Four years ago John had a carabiner he loved (for no rational reason). He even wrote a Insta post about how much he loved it. Two days later, that carabiner sailed through the air for the last time. The bear line was caught and not coming down. He dropped a pin and planned how to save it. Two years ago our friend Rich hiked the Colorado Trail. John entreated for Rich to save it, but still in Colorado it stayed. Today was its day. Today John was able to save his bear line and carabiner from that tree. Four years later and the two are reunited.

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