Day 20 – Slowest Day Yet?

Today it took us hours upon hours just to make it 3 miles on the Colorado Trail.

Phase 1

We made out of Buena Vista (which was crazy busy!!!) and to the Silver Creek trailhead. Our goal was the top of the ridge with views of Mt. Yale. We made it half a mile before we set up our tent. It was the perfect trifecta- it was lunchtime, there were bugs and it starting to rain. Why not eat lunch in dry peace and quiet?

Phase 2

After the rain died down we packed up the damp tent and our dry selves. We again made it half a mile down the trail before the rain started again. Only this time with lightning and a hail warning. As our trail was headed up to the top of a ridge, we decided to stay put until the lightning passed. Sadly it was a narrow section where we had to perch on the side of the trail. Again I was happy to have my umbrella. And chocolate.

Phase 3

Upward in the rain we went once the lightning was gone. This was the most standing water we’ve seen on the trail since the beginning. One tricky puddle had needles floating on the top and looked solid. We passed a beautiful alpine meadow with our very first moose spotting!!!! It just stared at us as we went by.

At the stream crossing (a whole 2 miles in!) we again set up the tent. I can confirm the Zpacks duplex is fairly easy to setup in the rain, especially with 2 people. The inside stayed totally dry. We shed our wet layers and crawled inside to hide from the rain. Again.

Phase 4

We cooked dinner at the stream and filled all our water, as our camp for the night was dry. Then came the worst part. Putting on wet socks and shoes.

We climbed the remaining mile up to the ridge just as the sun was setting. The view just up from our tent was fantastic. Sadly the Colorado Trail offers hikers no view for all of their hard work climbing up. You have to climb an additional a side trail up a grassy knoll.

From there you can see Mt. Yale, Mt. Princeton and the valley below. We hung out until the sun slipped behind the mountain and the temperature dropped. Headed for our coldest night yet.

Sunset over Mt. Yale with our tiny tent below.

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