Day 99 – 104 Colorado ‘flatlands’

Day 99 – Zero in Salida

Lazy zero in town. Lounged about for awhile, met up with Hana, Brock, Pierre, and Rick Flair at a pizza bar with decent pizza and *really* slow service. The rest of the evening was taken up by a hiker party at an airbnb that Beekeeper and Kismet organized. It was a fun evening.

Day 100

One hundred days on trail! Didn’t know that until I started writing.

The nicest lean-to I’ve seem on the trail. Also admittedly the only one.

Slow start due to being in an airbnb and having a bed and such. Eventually caught a ride back up to the pass with Dan, Beekeeper and Kismet’s friend. The hiking wasn’t anything special; lot of easy ridgewalking. Though there were a bunch of mountain bikers.

Camped at a cabin maintained by a snowmobile club. Nice cabin though I’m still tenting. The rest of the gang caught up and there are quite a few hikers here.

The biggest luxury here was honestly the picnic table.


It definitely had amenities though. Including a huge wood stove.

Tomorrow has easy looking trail but a 22 mile water carry. Hm.

Day 101

Seeing my ‘easy looking trail’ comment from yesterday is a bit of a slap in the face. Moderate elevation gain today but the trail was rocky, oh so rocky. This section of the trail allows dirt bikes and they’ve certainly chewed up the trail. It made my feet hurt quite a bit.

V trench with loose rock and sand or a fairly nice side trail.  One of the nicer bits.


Highlight of the day: the yellow tunnels

Day 102

Much easier day. Still on a portion of trail where dirt bikes are allowed and in places the trail was chewed up. But the majority of the trail today was on dirt roads of some variety.

Elevensies along the road walk.

Definitely the cow country of Colorado. Also, compared with the rest of Colorado, it was downright flat. Still 3,500′ of elevation but compared to the last few weeks…

The purpose of this gate escapes me. Though I did walk through it vs the extra 10′ to go around.


Fidgeting with night settings and attempting to capture moonrise.

Day 103 – Close calls

Well, that was a day. Unlike the previous few days, the trail wasn’t (Colorado) flat. Also, unlike the previous few days, it wasn’t bluebird sky all day.

Goodbye, moon.


Possibly the easiest bushwhacking I’ve ever done.

The morning was easy. The last of the flatlands. Around noon, Rick Flair, Pierre, Beekeeper and I went off on an alternate that went to the summit of San Luis peak, a 14er, instead of around. Extra climbing over the red line but similar distance.

Summit ridge. And one of many small weather systems going just past us.

Just before we got to the summit ridge the weather turns. Cresting the ridge brought us tons of wind and a view of a patchwork of storm clouds. We decided to summit anyhow as the bail out trail looked precarious. We got to the summit and within a minute there was a buzzing sound and static electricity. We ran (literally) down the ridge.  My pole shocked me through my dry glove.  It was surprising coming from a carbon fiber pole; didn’t think much about it until later though.

Beekeeper waiting for the others on the summit.


Summit marker. This was taken right when the buzzing and static started. A couple seconds later we ran for the exit.

Said goodbye to Beekeeper and Kismet a few miles later – they’re taking the Creede cutoff and I won’t be seeing them again on trail.

The others down at the saddle where the summit alternate ends.

The remainder of the evening was hiking through a patchwork of storms. Hail and thunder, and once we lost more elevation, just rain. The night ending with setting up camp in the rain a panicked but satisfying thing to do.

Dinner in bed. Cozy.

Falling asleep listening to elk bugle and distant rolling thunder.

Day 104 – Wind!  So much wind!

Lots of wind, occasionally rain, and elk bugling through the night.  Including one (I think) elk that kept going at it all night.  Slept well regardless; being in a tent in rough conditions is satisfying.   Until it’s 6 am and you’re faced with breaking camp in them.

The cozy albeit windy camp.

The hike into town would have been easy normally.  Instead there was wind.  Lots and lots.  Purportedly gusts at 75 knots (85ish mph).  Not sure how accurate it was but it was strong enough that I had to stop and brace against it at times.  In one section leaning into the wind enough that my head was ~18 inches out past my feet.  Just to walk in a straight line.

*very* glad the wind was blowing me up the hill.

Eventually got off the mesa and down to the road.  Though I passed a number of mountain bikers who were headed up.  Hopefully they managed ok.

The mesa had some nice views.

We got a hitch into town just as Pierre and Rick Flair got down to the road.  From a very nice couple who passed us a couple minutes prior and came back for us.

Oddly, being in the back of this truck: least wind all day.

Lake city is an odd small town.  Mostly because nearly everything is closed.  Being in a bed after the past day and a half is nice, though. 

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • Yolanda Garcia : Oct 9th

    Alex, the Pictures are beautiful, your comments are outstanding.
    I always wanted to do that but never had the courage to do it.
    God Bless You.
    Be safe.


What Do You Think?