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Begins: May 21, 2015
Date: Fri, Jul 10th, 2015
Start: South Fork
Trip Distance: 718.9
Entry Visits: 447
Journal Visits: 21,104
Guestbook Views: 679
Guestbook Entrys: 14
Last PLB Location
Continental Divide Trail Map
For those that are wondering which cliff we fell off of, here is a summary of our last week after outing at South Fork.
After being washed down from Wolf Creek Ski area having decided to call it a wrap for this year, we found ourselves in South Fork. Nice place but with one problem. No bus, rental car, train, plane, or other way to get out of town. A little bit like being in the Twilght Zone. You either have a car, or a big thumb. After a pleasant night in the Rainbow Motel, and a huge steak dinner at the Rainbow Diner, we headed off to a nearby cafe for breakfast. As usual, we ended up striking up a conversation with another couple sitting next to us. Three cups of coffee later, we had an offer for a ride the next day to Alamosa, to view their air show, and at the small airport they had a rental car agency. Trail Magic for sure. Leroy and Waldeen Wanderlich were a delightful couple, and we hit it off from the start. This gave us time to head to the post office to pick up our three packages, but they could only find one. More later. We didn't worry about this and the next day found us at the Alamosa air show which while small, had some fantastic acrobatic planes and pilots, and a yummy pancake breakfast. All was not well though, since we found that the local Budget car rental office was so small that we had to return the car where we rented it, and there was a 100 miles limit on included mileage. So plan B came into effect, in which we rented the car at Alamosa, drove 150 miles to Colorado Springs where we had a great deal on a rental from Budget, $ 275/week, unlimited mileage, and no charge for one way rental. Thanks to COSTCO! So we picked up the second car at Colorado Springs after staying over night, drove both cars back to Alamosa, dropped off the first rental, then headed to South Fork again to see if we could locate our packages. When we walked into the post office they recognized us right away, and produced the two boxes, which had been sitting in plain sight the whole time, but neither of the workers had seen them. The pink labels that I had on the side were apparently not bright enough. Water under the bridge.
From South Fork we headed to some of the small towns we had missed by outing early, with an overnight stay in Durango at the Strater Hotel, top cabin, then on to Silverton at over 10,000 feet, where we picked up another resupply package that we missed by outing early, then Orey, reminiscent of any of a number of towns in the Mother Lode here in California. We drove towards the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, but ended up staying at the Arrowhead Lodge, five miles down a dirt road, which we drove in typical Colorado pouring rain. The Lodge was great, friendly, good food, and a very relaxing atmosphere. It is a vacation community, with about 40 people who live there year round, including the majority of the year when they can only get in and out by snowmobile. Next day it was on to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the deepest and narrowest canyon in the US. I have to admit, I was very uncomfortable looking over what seemed to me to be a very low railing, looking straight down into the extremely deep canyon. I was happy to leave and head for Grand Junction, CO, then we continued on towards Arches National Monument, expecting to stay at Moab. After taking a little detour to see the (ghost) town of Cisco, we continued along the Colorado River on an incredibly scenic route, and found a camping area about 20 miles from Moab. We set up in the sunshine, and relaxed. A young man and his dad pulled in and began setting up their tent, first time they said, but before they got it up, thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. Their tent was about to blow away, so they wrapped it up and jumped into their car, as did we, while we waited out the storm. As quickly as it arrived it was gone, their tent finally got set up, and we all enjoyed a lovely sunset, with majestic mountains straight out of a John Wayne John Ford movie.
Arches was incredible, though a bit unnerving as a search and rescue helicopter was searching for a hiker missing from the day before. Perhaps Bill was still following us. From Arches we drove Hwy 50, "The Loneliest Highway" to Ely Nevada. The next day we continued on Hwy 50, stopping by brother Tom's in Truckee, then on home to Livermore. It was a great drive across the US, and a nice way to deflate after all the time on the trail. Perhaps we will look back on the drive home as the most enjoyable part of this vacation. That's all for now, don't forget to sign the guestbook. ...Cisco and Roadrunner
GR20 in Corsica Sept 2014 Te Araroa New Zealand 2012-2013 PCT 2001 & 2013
You're never lost. You're just not on the trail you expected to be on.