Day 76 – 80 Into Colorado!
I can’t sleep in; even when tired and sleeping in a rare bed. Also, being in a hotel room with a TV led to some binge watching of whatever crime procedural was running a marathon. It’s amazing what is fascinating after being on trail for awhile.
Slow packing and the remaining town chores. Notably sending my camera filter lenses home. I can’t find an adapter rugged enough to stay on my camera, so I’m giving up and not carrying the lenses. Will miss them on bright days, but such is life.
The actual hiking today was entirely on a paved road. It’s a popular alternate to the trail south of Rawlins. Saves 20 odd miles and a bit more straightforward water. Also, I’m behind schedule so making up. It wasn’t bad, just monotonous and, at times *really* windy. Hiked until 10 to get to a campground.
Goodbye to the great basin!
Finished the road walk alternate and a few miles of dirt road and we were back in the trees! Something I’ve really missed the last few days. Especially for camping. This region is pretty windy and having tree cover is *really* helpful.
Last few miles to Colorado.
It was definitely a type 2 fun day. It rained and hailed for much of the day. Thankfully, easing off some later in the day. The worst of it was when I was crossing battle pass. The rain and hail intensified, and there was no shelter along the road. A guy stopped and offered me a ride but I declined as I wasn’t planning on going to town.
At the trailhead a few minutes later and mildly hypothermic, I was hiding under a privy shelter kicking myself for not accepting. Then a couple invited me onto their house boat for tea as well as various types of food. That was amazing and helped uplift my spirits. Enough to head off up the trail and into the rain.
Hiking consisted of repeatedly telling myself 3 more miles and then I’ll camp early and warm up. Ended up with a fairly full day of hiking, though.
The highlight of the day was the scenic ridge before Battle Pass. I had company up on the ridge.
Day 78 – Colorado!
After yesterday, today was thankfully dry and relatively uneventful. Crossed into Colorado mid morning to little fanfare. Well, none at all. Maybe a squirrel said congrats on being halfway. Or it said get off my lawn. The latter is probably more likely.
First impressions of Colorado: more people, more trails, more mountains.
Didn’t get quite as far as I’d hoped today. I was a bit slow getting on trail. The shorter days are really becoming noticeable.
Coldest night thus far. Tent was covered in a layer of frost. And taking down my tent was unpleasant since I had lost a glove in the basin. Taking the poles apart was cold – both from the below freezing metal and the pole sections being frozen together.
First big (ish) climb in Colorado up to Lost Ranger peak. Which is the type of name for a peak that makes me wonder about the story behind the name. Possibly because some other hikers and I were talking about the book ‘The Last Season’ a few towns ago.
It was quite windy. Though I found a nice sheltered lounge spot to eat gummy bears and putz around on my phone since it had service for the first time since leaving Rawlins.
The rest of the day was a long slow descent today and tomorrow all the way to Steamboat. Town day tomorrow. All I have left for food is the unappealing food – peanut butter and tortillas, mostly.
Hiked into Steamboat this morning. Spent the morning marching to Rabbit Ear pass. The main notable feature of the morning was the number of mountain bikers and having to fairly quickly hop off the trail suddenly.
The last bit of the trail into the pass was along a highway. Much like the upcoming trail. Fast if not especially pleasant. Though I got a hitch pretty quickly into town with some nice and rather interesting guys. One of the stranger hitches I’ve had.
Fumbled around Steamboat a bit before panicking and ending up at the last room of a somewhat pricey hotel. Will need to manage other Colorado towns better.
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