Day 4 – A Middle Age Dog Learns New Tricks
We got a nice early start out of camp at 6:30 AM. I was kind of proud of myself for being one of the first ones out. Mornings are definitely not my forte. The day starts with an easy 3 mile walk downhill to Buffalo Creek. We’re both lost in out own contemplative thoughts. Like “Can you use squirrels nut butter as Chapstick?” It turns out yes, yes you can.
Lift Your Knees
Hiking uphill is hard for me. It doesn’t matter how many miles I’ve hiked or how good of shape I’m in. The best analogy is that it feels like walking through water or Jello. It’s not that I’m tired- as soon as we hit flat or down my pace picks right back up. But my uphill speed is more like 1 mile per hour than most hiker’s average of 2 miles per hour.
Today John had a suggestion- “Try lifting your knees.” Um- I do that every time I take a step. He clarified, “Pretend you are doing high knees like in a workout. We trained for uphills like this in cross country.” I tried it, and while it certainly doesn’t feel natural- it certainly made uphill easier. I can’t do it for more than about 40 steps yet, and the whole time I’m saying “lift your knees” on repeat in my head. But it does make the short ups so much faster.
We made the uncommon decision to go into Bailey for resupply. Most people just carry more food, do bigger mile days and resupply in Jefferson or even Breckenridge. But along time ago I promised myself I would carry more food then I had to. So into Bailey we went.
Hitting the trailhead closer to the weekend probably helps. There is a lake just down the dirt road that a lot of people go to. We had a ride into town within 5 minutes. Our resupply box was at Platte River Outfitters. The couple who run it were really nice and even had KT Tape for my feet. Our friend had a box at the hostel and said it was really nice. Before heading back to the trail we had to stop for lunch. The Rustic Station Restaurant was awesome. I had a nicely done salad and quesadillas. John had an awesome black bean mushroom burger. But the best part was the peanut butter pie. It literally melted in your mouth. No pictures of it because I had to quickly fight for my bites.
Up, Up, and Away
If Bailey was the good news, the trail after it is the bad news. The forests are pretty with groves of pure pine and then aspen. The trail is often wide enough for two to walk next to each other. And best of there are no bikes allowed on this section.
But the trail goes up and up and up. We gain about 2,400 feet of elevation in a little less than 7 miles. I can handle short uphill, but the long ones kill me. I broke out the music and we were able to do about 3 miles before setting up camp.
And sometimes dinner on the trail is leftover quesadillas sitting on a log after sweating your butt off.
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