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Trail to Tennessee Pass
It rained solid for 3 hours last night. We were dry in the tent, but the
tent was soaked. Nothing like packing up a cold wet tent in the
morning...our hands were freezing by the time we were finished. We skipped
half of the breakfast, figuring it might appeal more later.
Forgot to mention that we saw 2 pika below Elk Ridge yesterday. Today we
saw lots of people, elk track and scat, and 2 snowshoe rabbits.
The hills were shrouded with mist as we started walking. It felt pretty
chilly. Dalin said that the night before, it had been 38 degrees in nearby
Leadville. We gradually climbed and contoured until we reached Highway
24. The trail crosses the road then follows meadows (and an old train
route) as it heads to Tennessee Pass. We even walked a lovely graded
railroad bed as we climbed. Saw a group of mountain bikers heading down
the trail...must be a great ride! We passed by some ancient coke ovens and
shortly arrived at Tennessee Pass.
Tennessee Pass is a great spot to stop. There is a pit toilet there and
lots of drivers stop to use it (as well as grateful hikers!). We dried out
the tent, had a snack, chatted with various folks. One very nice guy,
recognizing our hiker status, asked if he could do anything for us.
By 10, we were headed onward. The trail passes near 2 mountain huts then
climbs and descends into a drainage leading to the Holy Cross Wilderness.
We had a few sprinkles, but no major rain. Once in the Holy Cross
Wilderness, we had to climb back up to 11,700 feet. A tough task at the
end of the day. The trails are still slippery and muddy from all the rain,
making it a bit more work.
At the top, we had some sun and nice views of the surrounding peaks and
valley. On the way down, we sat out a few minutes of snain (snow and rain).
We continued down the trail until we reached a small pond with a nice
campsite. Had enough time to get camp organized and eat dinner before the
Another long day, but not much farther to our resupply at Twin Lakes.