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Begins: Aug 6, 2010
Date: Sun, Sep 5th, 2010
Entry Lat: 37.71315
Entry Lng: -107.903446
Entry Visits: 149
Journal Visits: 4,285
Guestbook Views: 103
Guestbook Entrys: 3
Colorado Trail Map
Miles hiked today: 20.9
Miles from Denver: 432.4
Elevation: 11,120 ft
Landmarks: Lime Creek, Rico-Silverton Trail, Rolling Mountain, White Creek, Cascade Creek, Bolam Pass
I never really thought I would say this about a 21 mile day, but today was easy. Comfortable. A very pleasant walk. I really can't express it any better than that.
Silverton was a very nice town, and the hostel was really great. Rob, the owner, just bought it 6 months ago, and is adding on to it. He was extremely helpful and laid back from when I first met him, and even had offered to take me up to the trail this morning.
I had done all my errands yesterday and was ready to go, with the exception that I needed to grab my half-pizza out of the refrigerator and put it in my pack. I would eat like a king today on the trail. I grabbed some breakfast at the nearby coffee shop and I was ready to go. I was very excited to see the last 74 miles of trail, and even maybe a little bit anxious to get them done. Not that I want to get this trail over with, but there is something exciting about coming upon the end of an experience like this, and I am getting anxious to be in Durango after all of these weeks.
I had checked the weather, and its kind of mixed. Today was fine- the Weather Channel had big swooshing icons for 'windy.' It was also partly cloudy. In real life that translated to just cloudy, but thankfully it didn't rain. It was very, very windy though, especially when I was up on an exposed spot on a ridge. Tomorrow should be sunny, but my last two days on trail, Tuesday and Wednesday have over 30% chance of thunderstorms. It's possible I could be in for a wet finish.
Rob dropped me off at the trailhead at about 9 am, which is pretty good. It's still not exactly early, especially because I wanted to do 21 miles today. It didn't matter in the end because the terrain was rolling, with two gradual climbs, and the views were spectacular. The tundra and the ground plants are starting to change to fall colors, so everywhere I looked there were golden yellows and lime greens. You can see the gold on the side of mountains from far away, or in the grass far below. I didn't see any stands of aspen today, but I saw some yesterday and they are still green. I think they will change after I am through.
Today was one of those days where I found myself stopping every 20 yards to take out my camera and take a picture. I am carrying a DSLR in a zippered bag hanging at my stomach, so each time I take a picture I undo the zipper all the way around the case, take out the camera, take off the lens cap, snap a picture, then reverse the process. I have done that hundreds of times on this hike, and sometimes dozens of times in one day. Today I was doing it ever couple of minutes, because with all the clouds the light would change on a distant peak every couple of minutes, often warranting another picture.
I ran into a good number of people today, including two groups on horseback, a large backpacking group, mountain bikers, a family, and a feeble looking old man with a giant pack who wasn't very talkative.
I got into camp at around 6, which is extremely early for me. Over the last couple of weeks I have been getting in after dark often, and I really enjoy having some daylight left to set up my tent and cook dinner. So today it felt good to get in early. I am camped at a road for 4 wheelers, and its a pretty popular spot. There were quite a few people buzzing around on those contraptions a little bit earlier, but now all is quiet.
So now the pizza is all gone, and I'm in bed early. Tomorrow should be a beautiful day, and I'm looking forward to enjoying these last few days in these beautiful mountains.
The Colorado Trail is a 486-mile long-distance trail running from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in Colorado, United States. Its highest point is 13,271-foot above sea level, and most of the trail is above 10,000-foot. Learn more: www.coloradotrail.org