Pagosa Spings -> Lake City, CO

Day 35

Ugh. Town must make a thru hiker soft cause I just didn’t want to deal. Windy again, snowy again, I’m tired of dealing with it, I want it to be comfortable. But this is thru hiking.

Camp @ 856 = 9.1 TM (508.9 TTM)

Day 36

Hard climb out in the morning, another harder climb before lunch. But clear miles with little snow. It’s glorious. Still windy but the lack of snow almost makes up for it. In for another cold night, hopefully the wind stays away. Met Jee-mec in camp.

Camp @ 873.7 = 17.7 TM (526.6 TTM)

Day 37

Welcome to June and over 5 weeks on trail!

Met Shotgun and Critter at the first water stop. Ran into Dan/Info from the PCT on the knife’s edge. It was good catching up with him. The morning had some blow downs and moderate climbs then we hit the knife’s edge and had some of the riskiest snow traverses to date. Luckily they didn’t last long and we were back to clear and clean trail, for the most part. Random snow patches. Good day.

Camp @ 891.6 = 17.9 TM (544.5 TTM)

Day 38

Good day, no technical snow crossings. No long blow downs, just good trail and good people. We did have several big climbs but they were better than expected. Our mileage reflected that. Today was the warmest day we’ve had in Colorado(70s probably). Our first swim in an alpine lake today at lunch reflected that heat.

Camp @ 911.2 = 19.6 TM (564.1 TTM)

Day 39

Good day on trail. Cruisy miles for the most part with beautiful views. We stopped at a pass early in the day with epic views and did a high school themed photo shoot. Lots of people around, some who we haven’t seen in a week or so. Clouds cold through in the afternoon and gave us some snow flakes and wind, but nothing serious like lightening.

I’m feeling stronger at this elevation. We haven’t been below 12k today or 11k in several. That said my lack of food weight in my pack reflects that we’re a day and a half out of town.

One thing I didn’t think much about before getting on the CDT is how much longer our food carries are out here. Between the distances and the terrain we average 5-7 day between towns/resupply. Which means more weight, Longer times in the wilderness (that’s nice), but that means we role in to towns in more need of rest. Which often results in spending more time in town. So far I’ve spent at least one night in every town where on the PCT I regularly did HIHOs(hike in, hike out).

Camp @ 929.9 = 18.7 TM (582.8 TTM)

Day 40

Long day. We pushed our first 20+ day in CO along with some big climbs and while it’ll make getting into town tomorrow nice, and there was a lack of campsites and water sources that would have allowed us to comfortably stop sooner, it was a long day. Body definitely feeling it. Most of the day was spent over 12k feet.

Camp @ 952.6 = 22.7 TM (605.5 TTM)

Day 41

Up and off to town. Was a quick day though I missed Arrow and Ranger getting a hitch by less than 10 minutes, all cause I had to poop. After an hour of trying to hitch with no takers some trail angels came up from town just looking for strays like me. Knucklehead and his partner were thru-hikers themselves many years ago and moved to Lake City after finding it while hiking the CDT. They dropped me off at the best restaurant in town where I met Ranger and Arrow for lunch.

On our way in to town we’d gotten word from Tiptoe. He’d taken some extra zeros due to glissading injuries in Pagosa Springs. Unfortunately those injuries were not healing fast and he had come down with a fever. Due to circumstances at home, he made the hard decision to go home and get off trail permanently. It’s always a sad to see friends give up on their dream, whether by choice or by circumstance, even if he’ll be back out here another year. He won’t be out here with us, and for that we mourn.

Arrow jokingly said something the other day that applies all to well here. “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. Tiptoe was part of the Tramily (trail family) we built, we are there for each other and we help each other make it to Canada. I know I wouldn’t have made it to Canada last time with out my friends, and I won’t this time. The trek might now be just a little harder with out Tiptoe. We’ll miss you buddy.

Town @ 961.2 = 8.6 TM (614.1 TTM)