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Hungus - Colorado Trail Journal - 2017

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Hungus and Pace
City: Roxbury
State: New Jersey
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 12, 2017
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017
Start: Spanish King Mine Trail
End: Overlook Campsite
Daily Distance: 20.2
Trip Distance: 459.9
Hours Hiked: 10
Daily Ascent: 2910
Daily Descent: 3196
Min Elevation: 10371
Max Elevation: 11985
Entry Lat: 37.5347
Entry Lng: -108.0314
Min Temp: 36
Max Temp: 75
Breaks: 4
People Met: 10

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 198
Journal Visits: 11,896
Guestbook Views: 97
Guestbook Entrys: 1

Colorado Trail Map

(Click image for full size)

Pace at the Overlook

Indian Trail Ridge


Pace and I were up before the sun and enjoyed breakfast in bed again. We were out of the tent and getting ready for the day when a hunter passed us. He said good morning and continued on. I was surprised that he had a riffle with him because I was under the impression that it was only bow season. I swapped my Phish donut bandana with the Bakers Dozen bandana on the front of my pack since it was the closest thing I had to blaze orange. Pace's bright pink shirt would have to do. We were southbound at 7am. We walked for about an hour and a half and took a break about a mile from Blackhawk Pass. My left Achilles' tendon was really bothering me on the uphill. I had felt this pain before but this time seemed to be the worst. I loosened my shoe, taped it up, and popped some Advil. This all seemed to help but the shoe loosening probably helped the most.

We hiked on and got up to Blackhawk pass which offered some excellent views of the mountain ranges to the North and West that we would not be hitting. We could see our last range, La Plata and Indian Hill, very clearly. This is where we would be walking the next two days. The wind was whipping pretty hard up on that pass so we didn't linger long. We started the long downhill and paused for a break at Straight Creek. This was potentially the last on trail water for 22 miles however there was a seasonal stream listed at mile 12. We were fairly certain we would be able to get water there since anything listed as seasonal has been flowing this year. Regardless we decided to carry 3 liters each to ensure we stayed hydrated.

After our break we continued on and started our dance with a series of Jeep roads. For the next 8ish miles the trail would align with, cross, or parallel jeep roads with lots of car camping options. We met a family out on a jeep excursion who hooked us up with a bag of cashews after stopping to talk for a few minutes. The trail passed a few car camps and we ran into hunters along this stretch. Most of this section was a ridge walk along the western border of Hermosa Wilderness. The wilderness area essentially started on the steep drop off to our right which offered many great views back to the San Juans. Of course it was raining on that range.

As the day went on the temperature continued to climb and we were out in the sun a fair bit. We were starting to drag a bunch as we limited our water intake in case the next water source was dry. At one of the jeep road crossings I saw a shiny white pickup truck parked on the side of the road. We almost walked past it but I noticed a cache of water jugs underneath on the opposite side. Trail Magic! We walked over and filled up water bottles. Pace and I chugged so much water we had to take a break to digestwe couldnt hike. As we sat there, a day hiker passed. His name was Mike and he was supporting his wife Maggie who was about half a day behind us. Mike and Maggie (M&M) were out hiking Oregon and Washington on the PCT earlier this year when Mike suffered a hernia. During his recovery after surgery he couldnt do big miles so he agreed to run support for Maggie as she hiked the CT. After chatting for a bit, Mike hiked on and so did we.

We took another break after a few more miles and got passed by another CT hiker crushing miles. I think he was doing a 27. After our break it was the home stretch to our possible water and then .4 further to camping. Along the way we met Moe, a section hiker who after completing this section has done the CT twice. Moe had not budgeted water that well and was pumping out of a muddy puddle. We wished we had some to share but were running dangerously low ourselves. After a brief chat we moved on and made it to the water spot and there were two horse packers camped there. Only the second we had met on the trail. A couple from Scotland who had rented horses in Denver and were on the trail about a week longer than us. He had found a good spot to fill up water which was indeed flowing well and showed it to Pace and I. The 4 of us talked for a bit as we filled up for the night.

The last .4 to our camp was uphill to a side trail which extended out along a shelf on the ridge. At the end of the shelf the ridge narrowed to a rocky knife edge. Pace says it felt like a bow of a ship. This view was incredible. We could see back along the entire Indian Trail Ridge to Blackhawk Pass, Hermosa Peak and the Hermosa wilderness below and the San Juan Range. What an excellent campsite. The wind was kicking still so we took shelter back in the trees to set up camp. As we were setting up Moe joined us and set up nearby. Pace and I cooked dinner out on the rocky edge and enjoyed a wonderful sunset. Moe came out to join and the three of us hung for a bit talking about how amazing this trail is. Once the sun was fully down and the stars started to poke out, we retreated to the tent to call it a night.

Hammock Site - Yes

Entry 36 of 38
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Journal Photo

Hungus And Pace On The CT

A journal to document the adventures of Hungus and Pace on their 2017 south bound thru hike of the Colorado Trail.

Check out Hungus's 07 AT NOBO Thru Hike or 08 Cordillera Huayhuash Thru Hike

Click the link above to check out our 2012 AT NOBO Thru Hike. There is also a link for the 2013 Long Trail but only a section was documented online. Hungus finished his last LT section in October 2016.

Follow us on Instagram @HungusBrews and @Paceitout


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