DAY 65 Heading to Salida day 5

June 17th

I was up and packed up most of my gear whilst still in my tent. Great practice for a wet morning !
When I finally emerged the sun was just beginning  to rise and no sign of any  mossies yet.

I finished packing drank hot chocolate and I was ready.
I was on trail by 6am  and today I am  heading to town or hopefully I am. I started the climb that I didn’t want to do yesterday.
It looked worse than it was as i cruised up fairly easy , a little way up I passed through a gate and over a stream the water was much better than the water I grabbed last night. 
The trail  followed the contours  of the hill before opening out into the forest, but the trail was a mess due to dirt bikes cutting huge ruts into the dirt that then fill with water and become a complete bog. 

I manoureed  my way around the best I could trying to avoid the mud .At last I exited out of the forest onto rock, but it was slippery gravel and the next minute I was lying on my back.
I’m okay , and haul myself up and continue.  In the distance the trail appears to wind downwards below me . It would be easy to short cut down, but  I’m not sure if it’s “My trail”!… so continue on and luckily its a different trail as the CDT takes a sharp left. Just as I turn I notice a tent to my left and smile to myself.
The morning is waking up and ahead I see a deer standing in the middle of the trail, I stop and call out “Good morning Deer” to my surprise a second one appears then a third. I watch them for a few minutes  before moving on sending them bouncing off through the woods.
In front is a sign  telling motorised vehicles to now take a different route. YES!! The trail now returns to a lovely path and I can walk normally, but it’s getting warm and I’m over heating so as soon as a suitable stop  appears I drop my pack to take off a layer.
It was then I noticed that when I fell over my ice axe pierced one of my water bottles (the full, one)
Oh well I can get a replacement in town.
I head off down the trail  which is a fairly steep decent , I am surprised to see a lady on a bike cycling towards me I was more impressed as she was cycling up a very steep hill with little effort , so I thought maybe it was electric  but no she was peddling.  We greeted each other as we carried on our journeys .
The trail now skirted around another hill but in the distance I thought I could make out a road. Eventually I arrived at the trail head, I checked my app to make sure I was heading the right way. Yes its goes through the park(Trailhead)
As I am walking along road a car appears and stops. It is two ladies who are day hiking part of the Colorado trail (CT)
We chat for quite a while before I head off. At the bottom of the park is a toilet so it would be rude not to use.
Okay back on trail and onto another Jeep track that typically climbs steeply unlike me. A little way up is piped spring so I stop to get water. As I’m filling up the two ladies I spoke to earlier appear I will catch you  later I say and laugh.
The jeep track now turns into a a single hiking path and levels out thank god.
I’m then startled by a huge dog followed by 5 blokes and two other dogs they are out for six days and are all very chatty. I wish them well and push on . The trail then crosses a large scree and sat in the middle enjoying the amazing views are the two ladies.  I was just  taking a photo when Mountain-goat appeared.  It was good to see him as he was a little poorly when I last saw him at Lake City.

Mountain Goat

As we both walked past the ladies they offered us half an orange each. Mmmm that tasted so good.
I walked with mountain goat for a few miles before I gave up matching his pace. ONLY 10 MILES Snail…
Wow really, but we were now heading up and it was a steep climb.. Mountain goat was already half way up .omg that’s steep
I took a big breath and began climbing, once up I noticed two more big climbs in the distance .
Really I said  to myself ..Fuck.
I could see my fellow hiker in the distance.. Actually the climbs were not as bad as they looked and I had soon completed both.
I stopped to stare at a signpost 5 miles to to monarch pass

I pushed on, on a meandering path that vanished into the distance. I must have zoned out as the next minute I was startled by a big dog, who belonged to two cyclists. We apologised to each other.
Then the lead cyclist said three more behind.  
Thank-you , I said and walked on.
It wasn’t long until I was passed by the other cyclists. 
When I came over the brew of a hill ,sat below by a snow bump was mountain goat . He was making himself a slushy with snow.
We set off together but as it was now downhill until the pass and so I was able to natch his pace
He was very chatty. Told me off for saying “Fuck “a lot , told me about God and his theories about the state of the US.
Well these conversations took my mind off of the hiking and we were soon cruising into the pass.
There is a cable car that takes tourist’s up the mountain that we walked under it and too the store. 

We dropped our packs, I grabbed a Gatorade and a bottle of lemonade that I had been craving for, for a while. I then ordered some  chillie nachos, they were so tasty, we were then joined by another hiker but I forgot his name.
He recommended a hotel and had got a great deal there. 
Okay I need to hitch into town, but as I walked to the door it began to pour with rain.
Okay I’ll wait a while.
Wow amazing in 10 minutes the storm had passed and the sun was back out.
I said good bye to my friends and headed back by the road. 
10 minutes and I had a ride. He was a surveyor who worked on the roads. He dropped me off  at the hotel.

I walked in and asked if they had a room for two nights . 
But when she quoted me $480 I almost died (festival weekend)
I did some grovelling and negotiating and $120 a night Inc breakfast. Yes please 
I  have a lovely room  , until I exploded my pack.  
Shower first…oh that’s better I’m clean, then I headed up to Walmart. I didn’t need much but still managed to spend a lot. It was certainly heavy lugging it back to the hotel, luckily a group of great guys stopped and gave me a ride back
Thank-you so much guys.
I decanted most of the food., ice cream in the freezer, beer fridge.( important items)
Next was laundry.  and once done I now to chill
Oh and update videos and Blog

Mileage  16 and change 


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