Day 5 – One Very Long Meadow
We started with the rest of the climb. We almost had company last night, but they decided to push on another mile. It was the same two hikers who camped with us the first night. We see people on the trail, but we often end up camping alone. I think John is looking for people to chat with besides me.
And Still We Climbed
The climb from yesterday still wasn’t over. We had 3 more miles to the top. Most of the trail followed an old road, so again we could walk side by side.
Yes, uphill is hard for me- but uphill at 10,000 is no joke. I breath hard on the flat sections too. I’m really proud though that it only took us about 2 hours to make to the top. I was definitely disappointed that there was no view. All that work, climbing for two days, and all I got was a small stream and trees.
For the most part I’ve been eating a similar amount to what I do at home. I even gad leftovers from my delicious lunch in Bailey. But after cresting that climb the hunger kicked in. It’s like my whole body was focused on getting to the top and once there it realized it was starving. I immediately demolished my snacks. My snacks for the whole day. I have plenty of food with the lunch in Bailey, but I ate in 20 minutes what I had been eating all day.
An Alpine Meadow
Just on the other side of the Lost Creek Wilderness is an alpine meadow that goes on for miles. High up in the mountains is a stream, flanked by shrubs covered in yellow blooms. The trail follows along the stream for the whole length. With so many different wildflowers and plenty of cold side streams to break at, it’s hard to go fast even though the trail is easy.
Oddly enough we didn’t see any other backpackers for the whole meadow. We are definitely not the fastest people out here. I’m slow uphill and we are trying to do lower mileage to preserve the life of my feet. Usually in a day we are passed by at least 10 other Colorado Trail they-hikers. We saw no one from waking until 4 pm other than day hikers.
The Endless (3 mile) Search for a Campsite
The plan on our spreadsheet had us stopping in the valley. It was just lunch time when we for camping got there so we decided to get enough water and hike one more mile to the campsite at the end of the valley. It was supposed to have great views (it did) and tons of flat spaces (it did). What it also had were tons of ants, flies, and mosquitoes.
New plan- continue (with our extra water) half a mile more down the trail. There have been tons of campsite all along this section so we thought our chances were pretty good. The campsite came with our first view of South Park and the Kenosha Mountains. But the hard rock was better suited to a freestanding tent and *may* have had a resident bobcat.
Okay- one more mile. The next campsite John deemed too exposed. It turns out he was low on electrolytes and overheated. He felt it was too exposed to the sun. We ended up walking the 3 miles to the next camping. At water. Carrying our extra water for camping. At least this one only has mosquitoes.
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