Day Eighteen: Feetses

I wake up in a bed, and that is glorious. I mean, eventually, I get up and out of it, but in the moment it’s the best thing. I’m pretty sure the only parts of civilization I miss are bed and internet. And inside, I guess. And warm. But that’s it.

We’re slow getting up and out, but I don’t hate it – it’s probably better for our attempt at hitching back to the trail. That jeep road is a bit vicious, and I’m a little concerned about our chances of getting back. I decide to try to hitch for an hour – 10 to 11 – and if it doesn’t work, we’ll be walking Collegiate East the rest of the way to Salida. So I dance as many dances as I can remember with my thumb out for an hour1, all to no avail. I go to throw away my tea cup, come back, and we take about four steps before an older lady in a Subaru says she’ll take us all the way up. The trail works in mysterious ways. Continue reading

Day Sixteen: Breaking the Perfectionist

I wake feeling unsettled. Something’s wrong in my abdominal region, but I’m able to pack up camp while it figures out what it wants: sick or not sick, and if sick, up or down. Speshul tells me it was probably a bear checking us out last night, what with the heavy footfalls and the lumbering off begrudgingly rather than spooking; I feel like I should be more perturbed by the notion, but really, the slowly-exhibiting pain in my gut’s occupying most of my early-morning brain capacity. It feels like I’ve got an alien in there trying to get out, and we don’t quite make it out of camp before I have to limp my way to a place where I can be sick out of eyeshot, not once, but twice.

I’m still hurting when I come back, know the cramps1 are going to haunt me all day, and sure enough, they’re still echoing around in there when we finally set off. We find a campsite that’s about a quarter mile further on down the path, not a tenth of a mile like the guidebook’d said, but it’s comforting to know the guidebook knew what it was talking about. Sort of.
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Day Fifteen: Not Quite Best Pass

We’re up later again today. Speshul1 doesn’t sleep well, so I anticipate this leg to Salida to be a little later getting up and going. We’ve got six more days before friends are meeting us in Salida, though, and even doing fewer miles – what with the passes and my slowness and all – we’re like to make it there early. Even with the late wake-up, it’s still not about rushing out of camp; breakfast is a thing again today, and I’m sure there’s some sort of lesson in this. Spesh is a good teacher, subtle like that.

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Day Thirteen: The Town Formerly Known as Dayton

I wake with town thoughts in mind: Twin Lakes is ahead, and with it, seeing both M and Special. Six and a bit miles, and then town food and showers and beer and ice cream in one of the more beautiful towns in Colorado I’ve ever been to.

Both Trevor and I are getting a slow start, but it feels nicer this way, and I know I can make six miles before my housemates pull in around late afternoon. I even take the opportunity to eat before lazily scooting out of camp. Continue reading

Day Twelve – Cell Service Central

I wake relatively late today – it’s 7am – but I think my body needed it. I’m already more relaxed than yesterday; I’ve got today and tomorrow to make it 22-and-a-bit miles to Twin Lakes, and even though I was dragging yesterday, I managed to pull off 15. Should be fine.

Neither Trevor nor I are in any hurry to get out of the campsite. I cook and eat about half of a box of couscous while Trevor packs up, having done his due diligence re: food last night. We say our goodbyes, but we’re going the same way, and I wonder if I’ll see him again. Continue reading

Day Ten – Twenty

I wake up early and try to get up, but it’s cold and hard to move. There’s frost on the outside of my tent for the first time – my fault for camping where I did, out in the open with no protection but the tall grass. I watch 6:30 turn to 7:30 without cooking, and, giving up on that, I eventually stuff my wet tent into my pack and make my way on down the trail.
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Day Nine – (False) Summit County

We wake early – M has to get out of town to get back to work, and I’m a little sad to see her go. But I have to get out and go, too – back to the trail, six days to Twin Lakes since I’ve decided not to stop in Leadville. One less hitch, but I get the feeling that these are oddly long resupplies in general, and the weight of the food in my pack makes me less than thrilled about my decision. But I’ve made reservations for Special and I – he’s coming hiking with me for a week – and so I’ve a timeline to keep to, and that includes hiking over Tenmile today.
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