DAY 76 Copper mountain & onwards

JUNE 28th 

My alarm went off I switched it off.

The next alarm I snoozed and snoozed.  Until it began to get light.

I could see that my tent was frozen. 

I was in no hurry to get up . As it wasnt far to Copper Mountain 

At 6.30 I pulled the stopper and opened up.my tent.

My colleague was oacked except for his tentvas he was drying to dry it more in the sun.

Morning .

Okay Snail get into gear .I Unclipped my fly and gently rolled it off  my  tent.

I then packed up.

to head out 

I walked  passed my freinds from last night  them headed down the trail it was a gorgeous day and all ready warm.

Luckily the trail was still down as I still didn’t have heaps of energy. 

The closer I got to Copper mountain the busier the trail became . About a dozen southbound CT hikers and  similar number of other hikers  just  hiking. 

I pushed on until I came to my first view of this huge complex   and first set of ski lifts. 

Getting closer.. the next set of ski lifts appeared to be running. Possibly testing ?

I began to spiral down lower and lower  until I was almost there. 

Wow in front of me was a roller coaster. Wow  that’s kinda cool.

At last I was in the complex. I walked around looking for a cafe. Or similar,I passed a large boating lake with grandpa  and his grandaughter on one of those  round boats having fun. Above them were a dozen children waiting for their turn on a zip line.

I noticed a small convenience shop so brought a bottle of lemonade that I had been craving

I sat outside by the lake watching the kids zoom down the wire.

I then headed off to find a bathroom . On the way back I bumped into Shea. Who I had met earlier thst morning as I packed up.

He was having a coffee and eating doughnuts..  looks scrumpy I said.

Good luck today I said.

Yes Shea said.i need to leave before all the bars  open 

We both laughed.

I headed out to find the bus. 

The busses in this area are all free.i found the stop, but had just missed it. While I waited I got out my fly to dry in the sun.

The bus soon arrived. This bus will take me to Frisco then I fet another to Silverthorne.

I must admit wow what a great town Frisco is.  Very long road packed with shops and unlike UK free parking .

The bus finally stooped and I got off only for the next bus to arrive

It wasn’t long untill I was here.

Okay hotel .

It was easy to find and right next to a huge store perfect.

Okay I need to post 2 boxes of food up trail 5 days and six days 

But I needed to check with one site and they only respond to email. So I emailed  and am waiting.

Once settled in I went to the shop as  they have a pharmacy.

I tried to see if I could get  some more medicine.(giardia)

I took my uk  prescription  with me.

The assistant was very helpful, but the american system wasn’t.

I needed to see a Dr to get a prescription and that would cost a lot of $$$$.  For a $7 packet of pills. I thanked her.

Okay shopping I brought for one box, as havnt heard back yet.

Also lunch,dinner. Beer  and icecream . Sorted.

Once back I grabbed coffee.and ice . And back to relax.

Okay lunch first  then tv and relax. 

Oh and I have ordered my gloves. Whoop whoop and relax.

Mileage   

DAY 75 Heading to Copper Mountain

JUNE 27TH 

After several late night excursions to the loo I managed  to get a good  night’s sleep .

And was up and ready by 6.30.

It was a cool morning but as  I was in the vally  my fly was wet.

I headed out and at once began to climb and climb and climb  infact I spent all morning climbing until I  needed a break ..

I sat on  rock in the sun watching the mist or steam rise from the damp grass now being baked by the sun .

A hiker passed me and quickly was out of sight. I was about to resume but then needed to quickly  run into the forest

I have decided that I have contracted giardia  from dirty water .I have tablets and should have started taking them sooner but was hoping that  the other medicine would fix it.

I was was just about to hoist my pack when another hiker came through his name was silver and he was 72 wow. He has hiked this trail 3 times and is now on his fourth . He told me loads of interesting and useful stuff .

He headed off and I followed still climbing . We will very climbing all day. Such fun . Silver made the climbing look so easy .me puff puff puff stop.

At the next water stop I asked him how he made it look so simple.  He gave me a few tip on walking  and on breathing. All worth trying.

He headed off and I followed 

Eventually getting to the top of  the first summit over 12000 ft.

Silver took my photo and I his as it was such a great view.

A bit more climbing then it’s down snail.

Thank goodness I said  . We’ll actually i swore lol.

So I headed out amazed at the Vistas  all around  me.

At last I was at the top. And once again the views just breathtaking. 

Okay I think its down now  snail.

Silver headed off  following the meandering  line of the trail shortly followed by   myself.

But the trail appeared to be  heading in the opposite direction .

Oh F*uck I havnt finished  climbing as another large mountain appeared before me .

By now Silver was a fair way ahead . I was struggling a bit. I’m guessing  with bacterial infection that  I was suffering from I was suffering from lack of energy.

Several  Ct hikers came through so I asked them about snow. 

All is good they said.

In the distance was a large rock. Perfect for a lunch stop.

I  dropped my pack and silver joined me

I then got out my fly  to dry in the sun.

Great idea Snailtrainer  said Silver and did the same.

It was lovely to sit and relax in the sun for a few minutes.

Okay time to walk.i set off crossing several snow bungs before dropping down over the saddle. 

From now it should be all downhill  and only 6 miles to Copper mountain.

Easy peasy….lol

As I was beginning to decend  gourmet appeared passed me and zoomed off into the distance.

As I began to zig-zag  down  I came to an amazing lodge perched in the mountain . You can rent this place  and wow it looks amazing  probably  many shillings ££££$$$$$$

I pushed  on before noticing another hiker gaining on me from behind. I paused to let him buy only to find that it was Yader. 

Great to see you…catch you up trail  as he was awning to climb the big mountain. .

I was going to take the alternate. 

The trail crossed over the mountain giving great views down the vally before dropping down into the forest. The trail was switchbacked making the going easy. 

But I was still struggling with no energy even though  I was heading down. I needed to stop.

I sat down and took off my pack and lay down on the ground .

My breathing was mad so I lay there until I sounded normal lol.

God I feel rubbish but then I had been climbing since 6.30  and the Altitude kills me normally. 

Okay snail  a handful  of miles to go and it was only 2 pm

I got up sung on my pack and returned to the spiraling downward trail.

But I really wasn’t feeling it. Could  camp there. But I wasn’t carrying  any water. Okay next water and I load up and then the next flat spot  will be mine.

Typically it was a while before water. Okay  now somewhere to camp….The trail now followed the river and once again the beavers had been busy.

Oh there perfect,in the shadow of an old log cabin the perfect spot .

I dropped my pack . Then sat on a rock for a few minutes .

Just in front in some trees I noticed several.other hikers setting up camp.

As I sat  on my rock the clouds began to roll in.

Better throw my tent up quickly .

Okay  done now I can relax.

I had just finished setting up when a CT hiker appeared. Would you mind if I set up?

Not at all go for it.

As he set up I fired up.my stove and made a cuppa.woukd you mind if I cooked here?

No problem. It was actually nice to have some company and conversation  . 

As we were cooking one ofvthe ladies from the trees came over and said they were having happy hr and would you likevto join us for  tequila and lime.

So when we were done we joined them. It was two ladies and 1 husband.

I  enjoyed our drinks  but the weather wasn’t being kind and I was getting cold so I thanked them and left. 

Once back in my tent I had a quick tidy  then got into my bag as it was getting cold.

Actually just in time as the heavens opened  and whosh down came the rain.

Night all

Mileage  12

DAY 74 Leaving Lordsville

JUNE 26th

The alarm went off at 7am i silenced it. 

I dozed until 8 then looked at my phone and noticed I had a message from one of my sons,Sebastian 

Are you able to facetime ,he asked

So I did . It was good to see him his girlfriend Charlotte and of course my dog Taylor lol

We chatted for a while until I needed to go as I needed to check out and wanted  to grab a shower too.

The shower was soo good. Okay snail all this stuff on the floor has to go back into your pack.

I started then went to grab some coffee. I was shown how to make coffee yesterday.

Grind the beans then add to machine and hey presto

The owner caught be looking bewildered at it yesterday  and took me by the hand

..how old am I lol.

I sat down with my coffee and scoffed my last two remaining fruit jellies. The family began to emerge and then the big breakfast cook off began. 

It was so nice to see the 5 kids all mesmerised as bacon and fried eggs were cooked.

I asked the mum (I am crap at names) if she had a set if scales

And she appears with them 

Okay current weight is  170lb

Wow  that’s 48lb  I have lost but then I was overweight  to start.

I was fairly pleased with that.

Okay I finished packing and I was ready. I walked  back into the kitchen and just to be noisy got back on the scales.

So with shoes.fanny pack and my pack . Deduct my weight and my pack weighed 58lb. Wow that’s heavy but I have full food and 3 l of water .

By the time I was ready the family had all gone out. So I closed the door and headed down the street.

I was heading back towards safeways as that’s the road.when I arrived I crossed over and took up my stance.  Nothing….

Mmmm okay I will walk to the correct road as this one splits. 

Hope I get a ride before it starts raining as the skies were turning darker. 

Okay I crossed over and stood by the correct road. 

Nope nope nope nope

All of a sudden I heard Snailtrainer.that made me jump.

A car had cruised up behind me .

Snailtrainer the voice said again

How do you know my name I replied 

Because your famous the driver said.

I laughed

I noticed thst he had two oassengers inside either him

I’m just going to drop these two off in  lordsville  and if your still here I’ll take you to the pass.

As he said that then two  cars stopped for me.

How spooky was that!!

So great I’m.back at the pass and on trail. 

Again I thanked my driver  and headed back to the trail the rain began to spit  so I stopped and put on my rain gear

I had just finished when a couple coming the other way appeared.

And said its going to rain all day. 

Thank you so much I said 

I headed down the trail that was very well maintained  almost immaculate. 

I met several bikers and their  dogs and gave the customery how’s it going

I came to what looked like several large kilns . But without any signage I wouldn’t know their purpose. 

I pushed on I  the rain  shortly meeting 3 drenched girl hikers coming towards me.  But they all looked extremely happy.

I wasn’t looking for big mileage today 8 or 9 would be good.

I pushed on down the trail. It waa fairly kind with not many  biggish climbs..eventually I could see the main road again  I did debate about calling it a day. But it was far too  early . Before I could cross he road I had to cross the railway . My first I think on this trip. . Once across  there was a small climb.  And then the trail stayed fairly level.there were some remarks in guthooks  to take the forest road.  As there  was less climbing so I did. 

This then turned off and spat me out by Hale camp.

I had seen this on other hikers blogs and was fairly interested

It was a camp set up in the second world war to train elite  soldier’s  in artic warfare 

I walked along the long line of billets ? . Guessing  2 stayed in  these small rooms in bunks ?

Okay I think we have done enough for today and need to get the tent up  before the rain returns.

TOO LATE whoosh  and big claps of thunder. F*uck thst was bad timing I choose a dorm and sheltered inside. It may stop I said wishfully .

But it just got heavier and if you looked both ways it was just mist and cloud.

Bugger bugger. 

Okay I cleaned up the dorm the best I could as I may be sleeping here!!

Not my prefered option  but its too wet to hike on and the rain doesn’t look like stopping .So putting up my  tent in the rain is not what i want to do.

I got out my mat to be comfortable.  Then got out my stove and made hot chocolate 

Mmmm. Ohhh the rain its stopping.

I quickly packed up and we were out of here.

I pushed on up the trsil but was feeling a little cold and stiff.

Come on snail . We can at least do another hr .

I pushed in up the first road  getting passed by 3 trucks and their caravans. 

I kept on pushing and the rain kept  threatening. Okay it’s almost 5  now I need a spot

Just off trail was a large tree.Yes that will do I  can get my tent in there. It was fairly dry beneath the tree always helpful.

Once up I threw in my gear. Inflated my mattress and then got into my bag.

I was a little cold and needed some warmth

That’s my day 

Mileage  9.5

DAY 72 & 73 Going nowhere

JUNE 24th

I slept really well last night.i packed up and just had my tea to drink before hitting the trail

Okay lets go..it was a cool overcast  morning  as I strolled off down the trail.

The lakes looked stunning in the early morning light.

Suddenly I didn’t feel well  I felt nauseous and dizzy .

And had to stop and sit down . I really didn’t feel well. I sat for 10 minutes and didn’t feel any better.

Could maybe lunch or a bad batch of water.

I am seldom unwell  and so I wasn’t sure what to do although it seemed unwise to head back into the wilderness.

I decided to hike back into town .

Once in town I visited the restroom for a while.

Brought a fresh  bottle of water and dumped all I was currently carrying.

Okay plan B  my next town was leadville so let’s see if I can get there. 

Ride one was quick,that dropped me off at the intersection. Then a nurse picked me up from there and dropped me off at the fire station at Leadville

Okay I set off for the  “the clouds in the sky hostel “.but when I arrived  it was fully booked.

They suggesest the Abbey.

So I rang them. Yes they had room and was just a block away 

On the way I passsed a train museum .the big diesel engine was just warming up,ready to take passengers on a tour.

Okay the Abbey,i checked in dumped my stuff and quickly had a shower. Once back in my room I lay on the bed  then promptly fell asleep . I  didn’t wake up until 8am the next day 

Maybe it was partly exhaustion  I had been on trail a few days with big climbs, but I still think food or water poisoning. 

I will get some meds today.

Mileage 6*

DAY 71 Twin Lakes

JUNE 23RD

It took a few tries to wake up. But once the plug was pulled  on my bed I had to get up.

I quickly stripped down my tent then put on water for tea.

I was just drinking it when yader appeared from behind a rock . And then Keebler  also appeared. 

Snail how ……

We all laughed . They both set off along the trail.

I finished my tea . Stowed my cup and I was also on my way

It wasn’t long until  Pittsburg  caught me  we gave each other abuse  as  he  vanished up ahead.

Then I was at the bottom of the dreaded  climb just over 2.5 miles up and I would climb over 2000ft.

I just cant wait…..

I set off and it was almost vertical at the bottom so more of a scramble.

Come on snail little steps . I slowly crept up the mountain.it was morning I’m fresh with loads of energy lol.

I climbed higher and higher stopping regularly to gasp for air about 1/4 way up I met  yader who was taking a break. There was a lady with him. Who was a trail  person. 

Through  gasps I said it’s too bloody steep. 

I pushed on or rather chugged on and up eventually I emerged out of the forest and could see how much  was left to climb.

SADLY.    About 1.5 miles oh joy lol.

I carried on chugging  up  and was now on the switchbacks that were slightly more forgiving. Right at the top I could make out a figure it had to be Keebler  or Pittsburg  omg that’s high.

But I was getting there and  2 hrs later I crossed the saddle. 

Wow the views from up here were amazing. The trail lady took a couple of photos of me.

Then it was down.

There were a few ice bungs then  it was slippery  shale before I was on solid ground.

At last I could push

I was heading to town where nice things were…..

The trail meandered its was down and once again it was hard work trying to keep out of the numerous streams and bogs

I entered a forest then popped out into a long meadow before going back into the forest. As I decended. I met numerous people  going the other way.

Several joggers. Day hikers. People just walking their dogs. 

Soon the river joined me as I just kept heading down and down and down

At last I came to the shortcut  (trail) this one doesn’t take you  around the lakes.

I popped out by several ponds before crossing over a large bridge over a raging river. 

Okay now to Town.i stood by the road for a few minutes but thought it was bit too dangerous where i was.

I began to walk  but the hard shoulder wasn’t  very wide.

Luckily a couple stopped and soon I was outside the store.

I thanked them and walked to the store. There were numerous faces thst I hadn’t seen in a while.

I dropped my pack by Yader and went  inside.i grabbed a gatorade as they had no  lemonade   shock!! A tub of blueberry ice cream and a can of beer.

I took that back to my table and slowly  enjoyed  it.

Then I visited the food truck for a burger. Again very tasty.

The rest of the afternoon was spent gossiping with the other hikers and finding out what their Resupply plans were and which towns  they were planning on visiting . my shedule is fairly flexible but plan to visit 

Leadvile next.

Rain came to break up our chilled out day ,rain  jackets and pack covers quickly appeared.

Okay guys I’m heading out  going to do 2 miles and camp

I headed for the road and quickly got a ride but was chatting so sailed past my stop and ended walking back.

Okay im back on trail.

Water is at  1.7  that will do me then a suitable  spot.

As I was removing my rain jacket as the sun was now trying to roast me yader caught up.

I followed him to the water.then headed down trail a little  ways.

I quickly got my tent set up and tea on the go.

Then Keebler  and Pittsburg  from the other direction. Which was lucky.  As I had missed a turn and was on a side trail.

So at least I’m going in the right direction tomorrow. 

Milage  17

DAY 70 Heading to Twin Lakes Day 3

JUNE 22nd

I was going to up early but it was cold…. I eventually pulled the plug I on my mattress at 5.40 and began the packup task

I was all ready uo go just need to eat my instant oats and  drink my tea.

Okay  we are ready and on trail by 6.30.

Imeaditly I was back to the climbing . Which went on and on and on. Bloody hell I said to no-one .. this is bloody mad. 

At last I am at the top or am I?

I began to head down for several hours . Through several forests but they were all quite lifeless no bird song. Just silence….

I pushed on crossing several large streams . Mountains lurked from out of forests. ..to remind me I have several more big climbs today….Thanks.

As I began another small climb  I caught sight of a deer trying to hide behind a tree. Seeing a deer really cheers me up. Weird but for some reason  I feel that my late brother is part of them and is just keeping an eye on me. Yup said it was weird. But it makes me happy.

I emerged into a clearing with views of a great lake.  Wow such an amazing view. 

Think I’m going that way?

WRONG….instead i began another massive climb.

This climb had switch backs but it was still bloody steep. As I was pausing for breath. Gourmet appeared. He briefly stopped to inform me who was where.

And then he was gone.how the F*uck  does he do that.

I struggled on and up  eventually opening up onto an open hillside

Now where are we going OMG in front was a huge mountain and when I stated I could make outvthe fine Zigzag lines of a trail up it. F*uck I’m going up there!!.

As I stated I could make out a figure climbing. It had to be gourmet. I sat and took a break as I watched this tiny figure  get higher.God it was high.

Okay snail here we go……

I set off and was surprised thst it wasn’t as bad as it looked and in 40 minutes I was at the top.

The views were amazing.  Except the back was covered in snow.

It looked extreme scary and it was. I followed others footsteps  always a good move . But it was high and steep and extreme slippy..phew I was on solid ground. Although I wasn’t  as it was shale and probably  smore slippery than the snow.

So it took me a while to inch myself down.   Until at last I was kn solid ground. In the valley below was another lake and I could make out campers  and a person with a dog.

I began to spiral down through the wood crossing numerous snow bungs but they were all quite mushy.  The trail spiralled  down for over an hour emeringing into  a long valley with beaver  ponds . I was pushing as it was still downhill. but then the rain came it was just drizzle.  But I decided to stop and put on my cover just in case.  I was just about to rejoin the trail when Yader appeared I scared him by calling his name

Opps  we then walked together for a while but  withh my rain jacket on I soon began to over heat ( the rain had gone) so I said catch you later.

I stopped and removed my jacket then rejoined the trail. I hadn’t gone far when I saw Yaders cap lying on trail so I grabbed it.

And hoped I would see him again as I didnt want to go on much further. 

I pushed on down the trail  and was surprised to see him sat under a tree by a creek taking  a break.

Your hat sir.

Yader & Snailtrainer

We both checked our apps

There wa more water  at  .8 I  was going to water up there and then look for a flat spot to camp.

Yader had similar plans.

I took off appeared to be in a park as I noticed several cars. Actually this would have been ideal place to  camp

As I went to cross the road I noticed a tin of beer with happy Trails written on it so I stopped and drank it.

Oh that’s so good. I savoured every drop.before crushing the can and putting it in my pack.

I heading off and soon came to the water. I filled all my bottles. I was just finishing when yader came past. 

See you at the bottom Snail.

I stowed my water  then set off after him, and not far down the trail was his bloody  cap again. 

So again I grabbed it.

The trail carried on around the side of the mountain. It seemed that it didn’t want to go down  to the road below. And was torturing me. As I just wanted to put up my tent. But the trail just kept going

Twice I went to I investigate possible spots but they would have both been bad compromises. Then just to my right I noticed Yader and around the corner the oerfect spot for me.

I dropped my pack then climbed down to Yader. Your hat again sir next time $10 lol

Then went to set up 

My spot seems fine and the milage not bad considering all the climbs (big climb tomorrow)

MILAGE  17

DAY 68 Heading to Twin Lakes Day1

June 20th

I lay awake staring at the rain drops on my tent

My Alarm went off I silenced  it. 

It’s no good I need to move.i let out the air  from my mattress  then went and got more water.

As I emerged the other two hikers Pittsburg & Keebler  were also packing up.

Dropping  a wet tent is just as much fun as  putting one up.

It had rained through the night but luckily it had now stopped.

I put every thing I could inside my pack  before starting on the tent.

I unpegged it and released  the fly from the tent . I rolled it back before giving it a good shake then Drooped it over a tree.

I folded up my tent and put it in its  bag.i did the same with the footprint. Then I put my soaked fly into  dry bag and then into  the tent bag.o will try and dry it sometime today.

The two boy’s (Pittsburg  & Keebler) headed out. I just had my tea to finish  and I’d be after them ha ha.

Okay we are back in trail 6.45 a little late but hey Rain !!

The trail then crossed onto a dirt road and there was,a sign  saying  mystery House.  So when the trail dived back into the  woods I stayed on this track.

I began to climb  and then followed the trail. The morning was cool   but not cold except for my hands   yes I need better gloves.

I soon came upon two old dilapidated  wooden log cabins.  I looked inside one before moving on. Next came a newly built huge log cabin.

Wow I’d love a  place like this.

I carried on along the  road until it reached the Cdt trailhead.  I was just reading the board when Pittsburg arrived followed by Keebler.  HOW ……

I was surprised to be ahead .as I had spent a lot of time looking at the cabins. 

I set off after them . But the trail was up  so I couldnt match their pace.

I watched them disappear into the distance. 

I  was struggled as the trail crossed numerous  streams and bogs all while climbing

After reaching the top of one part I had to cross a wide section of scree. There were cairns  to  direct you but some of the big slabs moved when you stood on them.once crossed there were several snow bungs to cross over.

Finally I was at the top.okay what’s over the saddle

I reluctantly peered over. Thank goodness I was heading down.

The downs were switchbacked . But still incredibly  steep. 

Once down I pushed on down the trail. But it was slow going as I Once again I had so many streams to  cross. I guess I croosed  well over a dozen . Some were easy other were fast flowing and surrounded  by deep sticky mud.

Some of these streams flowed into the many lakes. That looked gorgeous  with the sun shining on them

I unpacked it and pegged it out in he sun. The wind and sun soon got the  job done as I  finished off some snacks  and  an apple that I had  packed out.

Okay I needed a break  and as it was sunny. It would be a good time to  dry my tents fly

I packed the fly away and continued down the trail.

On my map it mentions  ghost Town.

I thought that it may be interesting and as I am also a tourist  I thought yes let’s take a look. It was off trail but I could detour back when done.

Also I have food and a tent.

I turned right from the official  trail and headed down a dirt road.

Thst was labelled old cdt. 

I followed this winding road . Several jeeps came passed with children hangng out of  the windows  and laughing .

I pased by a sign for  Hancocks pass   and then headed to the Ghost town. Mmm nothing  here

That was disappointing.

Oh bummer. I turned around and began to follow the old train route back to the Cdt.

The good thing about this was the gradient.  Not so steep so it was  easy to walk along.except  there was so much water where large streams dumped their contents.

In some places you could still see the sleepers  or what was left of them.

As I walked on I met several families on their way back from  this trail.

Okay im hot .lunch break and time to remove a layer.

I found a suitable rock . Dropped my pack and ate lunch

After 20 minutes i was ready to go. I swung up my pack and was just adjusting it when Pittsburg  arrived.

NO you  cannot be behind me.!

shortly Keebler  appeared

 Snail how….

I explained Ghost town toursist .

Weall headed off together but Pittsburg is fast and hexwas soon why out in the distance. Keebler  then stopped to text his wife.

I pushed on up the old railway. In places the snow had blown over the trailing other places there had been rock slides. I tried to imagine  how the railway  coped with all this. I then came to a sign telling you about the railways and a competition  to design the best snow clearance device. Very  interesting  as I had seen these machines at the Charma  railway  museum. 

Eventually the railway became single trail again and with it snow. I was crosing a large snow Chute  when Keebler  appeared and found a better way to cross. 

Then I came to a huge snow Chute and halfway up was Keebler.  Omg I have to climb that!!

It actually waa easier than it looked and I was soon at the top.

Except  I wasn’t the trail climbed sharply to my right… Really  I said to myself and set off after the boys.once over the trail dipped into the valley before climbing out Once more. Great  I thought more climbs.

But I seemed to have plenty of energy today so powered up the second hill.

Over the saddle and below i could see Pittsburg & Keebler  taking a break. 

Just once more small climb snail then it’s all downhill.

We sat here for almost 30 minutes  before Keebler  got up to push on.closely followed by Pittsburg. 

I took up the rear. .yes yes once over the next saddle the trail did indeed head down.

As the tred  was good I was able to get some pace and sooon caught the to boys in deep thought. 

Look snail.

In front  of us you could plainly see the two routes  the Red the official zig zagged steeply up the mountain almost to the sky.

The other took a more sedentary  route up an Jeep track.

I had already decided on the alternate. 

Pittsburg & Keebler  moved off and once again I’m in pursuit lol.

As I approached a forest the trail became very manicured I crossed over a sturdy  bridge and into a forest. 

The trail was immaculate. The tred uncluttered and the sides of the trail pegged with  tree trunks.

Looks very smart and omg there were switchbacks .to be fair they were a little over kill  but I’m going down not up. Of course there were about a dozen blowdowns  to navigate over or around. 

It was at this point  I hit my hiking wall and my engine became a plod (limp mode) imploded down and down and down omg it was a long way down.

Eventually I exited out into sunshine and crossed  over  another bridge as I crossed I noticed a tent up to my left with what appeared to be  someone sleeping. Well that’s a bit early !!

I carried on town the trail in the lakes to my right I could see  a family fishhing.

I carried on okay this will do, I climbed up a small hill

Snail snail here….

Pittsburg &  Keebler had found the perfect spot. 

Their packs stood by their chosssen  spots. 

Is this space free I said pointing at the dirt.

All yours Snail.

I dropped my pack then went in search of water with Pittsburg. 

We quickly found then returned to our camp  to set up.

Once that was all done we all sat on a huge log and cooked dinner.

Both boys did double ramen.

Funny I’d  never think to do that. 

I peeled my orange that I packed out and offered  some to the boys before cooking my ramen (single portion) washed down with several cups of tea.

We would of sat chatting for longer but once again the Mossies  thought we should go to bed

Milage  17

DAY 66 ZERO in Salida

JUNE 18th 

So great to have a lie in ,in a soft comfortable bed  

But even though its a zero I have chores. 

I got up and went to see what they provided for breakfast. 

I grabbed a coffee  and  then got scrambled egg.sausage and hash browns. The breakfast was tasty so I had more washed down with orange juice. And to finish off toasted bagel with jam.

Okay to the postoffice. 

It seems recently that  what ever end you stay at  in town,it is great for somethings but not for others.

Typically  every thing in Salida  is downtown  over a mile away .

But it’s a lovely  day as I set off in search of the Post office.and its a carnival weekend  so there is a buzz  in the air.

I walk past about a dozen floats and people in costumes.

Eventually I find the post office  and yes both pairs of shoes are here. (Thank god !) I bounce 1 pair and take the others with me.

I watch the rest of the procession  then do some window shopping.

There’s a great outfitter so i have a wander ,there’s a few items I quite like but the price is too high.

But they have sterilising tablets  which I’ve been looking for for my water bladder.so result.

Just around the corner there is street dancing. So I visit the bar opposite  and enjoy a few pints and a reubens (sandwich)

Have to say I’ve tried a few and this is the best so far.

Okay time to head back  . As I wander back I’m pleasantly  surprised at all the houses all different shapes and sizes  and all unique . 

Once back  I try and track down my missing packages. But ideally  it’s best done on a pc not a phone. Sadly it’s just not user friendly.okay next town then.

Okay it’s a zero. So relax  crap tv  a couple of beers and chips 

In-between I slowly packed up  

Back to the trail tomorrow.fingers crossed with the weather as  its looking like rain 

And fingers crossed for a ride.

Mileage   Zero

DAY 69 Heading to Twin Lakes Day 2

JUNE 21st

My alarm went off I silenced it.

But I could hear movement. 

At 5 am my alarm went off ,I snoozed it,and again on the third one I switched it off and pulled the bung on my mattress. 

I love that hiss.

I was slightly   chilly as I emerged from my cocoon. Quickly put on my puffy and shorts and went for a wee.as  I opened my tent flaps I was surprised to see at Keebler  was entirely packed up.

Omg he is keen. 

I returned to my tent stuffed my sleeping bag into its compression bag and stowed it.

Rolled up my mattress and put it too in ins stuff sack

Pittsburg  packed up at a much more sedate pace. But he’s fast and although  Keebler  was marching out  to the trail . Pittsburg  would quickly catch him.

I emptied my tent and filled my pack. I Unclipped  and unpegged  my  tent.tgen before packing it away put on water for tea.

Then packed up.my tent. When that was done I made tea whilst putting the bits into my pack. 

Lastly I drank my tea.clipped my cup to my pack and I was done.

See you up the trail I said to Pittsburg  as I made my way back to the trail. 

The first osrt was a bout 2 miles off up on a jeep  track. They have engines so don’t care.

I seemed to have better speed this morning and was climbing it quite well.my feet crunched over the ice reminding my fingers how cold it is.

At the top of the first segment I noticed a path marker which  cut a big piece off of the jeep road. So I took it it was a bog… but luckily as it was so cold it was all frozen so I could walk across  without getting wet feet.

Halfway along I spied Elk . Lots of elk about 40+ elk. I stopped to capture  them on film.

Wow and the noise they made was awesome. 

Okay Snail you have hot te video of Elk .now let us do miles.

I carried on .on this path  eventually meeting up with the jeep trail.

As I rejoined I could see Pittsburg  towards the bottom ,he will soon catch me.

Once at he top it was time to go down. The jeep trail snaked down the mountain for miles and miles.but once again the scenery  was just wow.

Down and down I spiralled,wow rhis is a long track. 

Soon I heard a weird noise .but it was only Pittsburg  with his ear buds in singing ..lol

He quickly passed me and i became the chasser

At the bottom was Mirror lake.  I had to cross several small streams,before being able to walk around  it but the path soon vanished and you had to use to use rocks (stepping-stones) to  navigate around .

Mirror Lake

But then the path/ road reappeared . I could just see Pittsburg  in the distance so followed in that direction.

The dirt track carried on passing another trail head with toilets and beams to tie up horses.

The sun was now out and it was going to be another beautiful day.

I pounded down the trail feeling very happy. Wow that’s a great camp spot. And wow that’s  a great camp spot. In fact there were numerous places to camp.

Okay almost  10.30 i will stop for a break shortly.

There that’s a perfect spot.

I sat on barrier made to stop skidoo from entering the forest.

I opened my app to check on the water availability. 

Omg Fuck fuck.somehow I had missed a turning and was on a snowmobile track (mainroad)

I said a few more f*ucks  very loudly. 

Okay I’m not walking back. .if I carry on it’s a bit like a dog leg and I should be able to get back on trail and use the timberline trail to intercept 

Perfect okay thats plan A

I felt much happier now so continued down the road.

As I walked a buggy  came up and a buggy went down ,then a oldish camper van made its way slowly up.

In the distance I could see houses (Cabins) I eventually arrived in Tin can  .I walked through. I would guess these ate people summer cabins as most had shutters on there windows and doors.  Okay  get to the cross roads turn right that’s simple. 

When I got there.the road was being graded .by a huge scraper  and behind that was a water truck  .

I watched for several minutes quite fascinated.

Then I noticed the local shop. 

I dropped my pack outside and went and brought  a gatorade. 

I sat in the morning sun watch  dad’s and their young children  fishing in a small pond opposite.

The owner of the shop said we often get hikers in and I can hold their  food boxes and do laundry for them. 

That’s great I said .I will post that on Facebook.

I sat watching the world go by. I was just  about to leave when the store keeper Gave me another gatorade  free for the trail. I thanked him  shoved it into the back of my pack  then headed out.

A little way down the road I noticed  a lot of something in the trees. When I got closer it was full of old tin cans. I later found out this was the local dump for the mining company that was once there. . I carried on down the road until a car stopped and asked if I needed any help?

I’m trying to get to cotton wood trail said.

No problem .he open the door and pulled up he seat then opened the trunk. 

I pushed in my pack then got in 

The driver was from Texas but has a cabin here . This man had rescued many hikers on the past and referred to himself as an Angel. His companion was intrigued by this and wanted to know about the Cdt  etc .when I started and what I carried.  It was a really great journey  to the cotton wood trail.

I thanked the driver and his companion and got out

I thought the driver was going to hug me but instead he laid a hand on my shoulder and said a prayer 

For me. I was completely humbled. 

I retrived my pack thanked them both and set off up the trail to get back to my trail. 

The path was fairly steep. But whoop I’m back on trail. 

But I’m behind shedule now. Oh well i will just walk and see what happens.

The trail was actually well maintained enabling me to get a resonsble pace plus it appeared 

Flat 

I  was really enjoying myself  but it was nearing lunch time and I was hungry.

When I came upon a stream . It was the perfect place to stop. 

I dropped my pack filtered water and ate my lunch.

Okay snail let’s go we need 22 lol

The afternoon  was similar to the morning nice trail, not too much climbing. I pushed on , the trail meandered in and out of the forest  and then beganbto climb and climb sharply… I began to puff and puff.until at last it leveled and then began to snake down. It looked  like we have  skirted an old bog.

As I came out of the trees I was met with another gorgeous lake. I know I gave seen loads  but they all look so gorgeous .

The trail followed around. But then I lost the trail.okay this way

I came to a large metal bridge over the river. Once again it looked just so beautiful.  Clear sparkly water flowing beneath.

I crossed over . And was in two minds to stay here.as it just looked so picturesque. 

I stood there for 5 minutes trying to make ip.my mind. 

But it’s 2 miles to where the official Cdt is…..

I hoisted  my pack and marched off down the road. The sun was now extremely hot and I was pleased to have shade

I the distance I could see a man and his dog. I watched him stop and snap on the lead. Seems to be customery here.makes sence to me 

As we passed we said hi and the dog barked at me.lol

A few more yards and I was at a  wide  stream. Hmm how am I going to cross that?.

I luckily  found a large branch across it and with my poles wa able to tightrope walk it great dry feet

On the other side was another woodland with numerous firepits.

I decided to stop for another break.  I got water and filtered it.

I’m curious about fire pits and what people leave.on the first one I found 4 aluminium  tent pegs  and then another.

I lined them up  on a large rock then went back to my pack..

As I sat a very quite Jeep  came down from my right and through the stream  I had just crossed.

I love a jeep to play out here with    big sigh lol.

Okay come on snail let find that trail…. I carried on up the road backed by huge mountains . Again its just so pretty out here.

Okay the road is a dead end sotge Jeep deriver must have just driven up and gone back.. 

Okay im back on trail…..

But omg it’s steep. The trail just climbed and climbed. No switchbacks  just up.witj the obligatory  downed tree and trees to climb over.

I struggled up the trail puffing and panting like an old train and yet tge trail still climbed and climbed. 

Omg omg .puff puff. I began to hear running water or rather gushing water and soon I could see a fast flowing creek  on my left further on I had to cross it. 

Luckily I found a log  so my feet are still dry.

I checked my app my target was in .5 of a mile.  But still the trail climbed  omg  come on I said to noone.

I plodded on and up and then I could see flat spots  perfect  perfect. I quickly found a decent spot and then went for water.

I soon had my tent up and tea brewing. 

But once again the Mossies  were determined to spoil my party. 

I gave my legs and arms a good spray. But they were just bloody annoying.  I msnged to cook tea and eat it before giving up and hiding in my tent

But today was a good day

Mileage  22

DAY 67 leaving Salida

June 19th

The alarm went  off at 7am I snoozed it and dozed. I getting bCk on trail today but there is no hurry. The alarm went off 2 more times before I silenced it.

I got up at 8  very relaxed s d hopefully refreshed. 

I got dressed and went to get breakfast. It was fairly empty so grabbed coffee ,orange juice.  Eggs sausage and hash.  Think I timed it just right as the next minute the place was heaving. 

I took my time.  Refilled both coffee snd orange. Then when I had eaten the cooked breakfast I toasted two  bagels .smeared them with butter and jam.

I was just about to eat one when Blister arrived and joined me . We chatted about the weekend and if hewas heading out. Indeed he was 

I finished my bagels and left him to enjoy his breakfast. 

Okay snail ….all of this needs to fit into this  pack !!

Well it eventually did. 

Okay im done.i wanted to try and return a pair of shoes to salomons.but it was now Sunday and i would  need to  speak to someone Monday.so I left them in the bin in my room. 

Okay  i lifted  my pack .scaned the room once more and left.

I walked across the road. Dropped my packand held out my thumb. 

In the distance I saw to other hikers cross the road and begin waking up towards me

It was xx  & xx  we had met each other on numerous occasions  but i can’t remember their names.

Do you mind if we make a three?

Not at all j said  as my arm was aching. Lol.

As we stood their with our thumbs out Blister appeared.  

We  wished each other well and he walked up the road a little further.  And bloody he’ll a car instantly stopped for him

Hows that for luck!!

Buy then another car stopped but room for 1 so my ride.

See you guys soon I said.

My ride  works for a surveyor for the forest.he td me about the dead tress. The beatles etc .it was really informative. 

Then we were here.i thanked him and grabbed my pack . As I began to get ready,Blister appeared he must have visited the store first. I think we are going to get wet?

BLISTER  passed me and headed ip the switch backs as I was still trying yo decide if I needed my rain jacket on. The sky’s them turned black and the decision was made for me. 

I just had time to get my pack cover on when whoosh the  rain  came almost biblical at times.

I just pushed on. I was fairly happy until my hands got cold.

Dam I need to buy some proper waterproof warm gloves.

There were a few small climbs but the trail was mainly running along the hill side.  Until it dropped down  and another trail head. Because it was raining so hard I was reluctant to get my phone  out so wasted a bit if time trying to find the trail. 

At last but now it began to climb I was heading upto the ski-runs  and funny thing is they are usually high up.   And  they were.

I climbed and climbed although  not super high I struggled to catch my breath. But walking through the deserted place with the gondolas , wheelhouse and run signs just fascinated me.

At last the trail split off  and as the rain eased and the mist’s  faded I wasn’t pleased to see what was in front of me…

Several very large hills with the faint line up them that was the trail. Great I sighed.  And pushed on . Each  hill seemed to be double the size of the last one.

I struggled up them one by one not helped by  the  wind.which luckily wasn’t as fierce as it had been..After my last hill the trail ran parallel  around ut but thectrail was scree snd hard to walk  over .There appeared to be a fair amount if snow here but it seemed to have avoided the trail.

I could now see down into the vally and could make out a fine line that could be the trail.

I took a quick break and found thst I had cell service. It was nice to receive  lots of Father’s Day messages from.my kids.

I switched back to aeroplane  mode to save juice and began my decent. I was them caught by  Pittsburg & Keebler   Although they stopped for a break at the first lake. 

I was feing good so kept on going and it helps as I was heading down.  I passed the 2nd lake 2 miles to the next. That would be my goal and should be about 5ish.

I pushed on still heading down. Then a runner passed me omg how can he run over this loose rock when I can’t even walk over it

Eventually I came to the next lake. It looked so beautiful and that was in the rain!. There was a board telling you about the lake and fishing and releasing what you had caught.  Okay I thought to the next lake. AS I was pondering the boys came past . I set off after them  and caught them crossing a super new bridge.

After I crossed the bridge the trail headed down steeply

But wow trail maintenence was happening . They you part of trail was being rerouted and the rest was  really  well prepared. Level and decluttered. As I walked on the rain returned much heavier than earlier bugger I thought.

Eventually I came to another bridge and could see tents my two freinds had just finished erecting  theirs and were jumping in. 

I quickly found a spot and did the same. Once  organised I went and got water then cooked.

Actually not a bad day 

Mileage   11