Wednesday, October 29, 2014

day ten: Breckenridge rest day, 8/21/14

0 miles

slept in, ate lots of food, organized our shit, relaxed, had a smoothie, and watched Shangai Noon - which I also didn't like because it made no sense and I guess I'm not into wild west train fights.  very important.

day nine: above Horshoe Gulch to Breckenridge, 8/20/14

6 miles

still feeling rough in the morning, but I was so excited to get to Breckenridge that I could've run this 6 miles with my giant pack.  maybe.  in retrospect, yes.

pretty easy 6, mostly downhill.  really not much to report except shit tons of beetle kill trees.

we caught the Summit Stage bus at Tiger Run and headed into town.  we stayed at the Fireside Inn, which is lovely and adorable and weird.  we showered, took a bath, and sat in a hot tub.  then ate, and ate, and ate.  and then watched A Fish Called Wanda, which I did not like because I found Kevin Kline annoying.  should I turn this into a movie review blog? 

day eight: Georgia Pass to east of Horshoe Gulch, 8/19/14

18 miles

we were super excited to get up and over Georgia Pass, and got an earlier than usual start.  we also wanted to avoid an inevitable thunderstorm at altitude with no tree protection.

the hike up the pass was amazing, meadows with wild flowers, crazy high mountain views, a little snow pack, some insane jeep roads (seriously, how the fuck do you get up here with a jeep?), and beautiful forests.  we were stoked.

Mt. Goyot, aside Georgia Pass

mountain meadows

cresting the pass
trees and mountains and sky all day

we headed down Georgia Pass and met a man that looked like our old neighbor Ralph.  so there's that.  when you see about 3 people a day, that's notable.  after the pass we headed up another giant hill where we had views of Keystone and Breckenridge, once we started to head down the west side.  

as we started to descend I started to bonk pretty hard.  I had a headache, chills, and nausea. this was definitely due to not getting enough calories.  after we set up the tent, C cooked dinner and took care of me while I warmed up and rested.  we know at this point we have 6 miles to Breckenridge where we'll have two nights at the Fireside Inn and able to refuel.

day seven: Johnson Gulch to Georgia Pass, 8/18/14

14 miles

beautiful warm sunny morning on the hill next to Johnson Gulch.  the morning stayed warm while we hiked to Kenosha Pass, where I got super homesick and wanted to catch a ride home to see my dog.

Lamar hiking with us on a yurt trip earlier this summer, best mountain bulldog ever

the great part about Kenosha Pass was that we were able to eat lunch at a picnic table and throw out 5 days worth of trash.  truly exciting.  we filled our water up at the campground on the west side of 285 and carried too much water for the rest of the day.  our water filter at this point has been a hand pumper and it takes too much time to fill up what we need, so we took advantage of the spigot at the campground and suffered the rest of the afternoon.

after Kenosha Pass we hit Miller Creek, which is beautiful and reminiscent of the Kancamangus in NH.  Miller Creek also marks the start of the climb over Georgia Pass, which will be our first time (of a million) up and over the Continental Divide.

we camped about halfway up the pass in an area with quite a few bear prints.  but we yelled and found that we had a neighbor - an older gentleman named Fred who was hiking from Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge, solo.  

went to bed, prepping for a big day tomorrow.

 somewhere east of Kenosha Pass

Monday, October 13, 2014

day six: Brookside-McCurdy to Johnson Gulch, 8/17/14

16 miles

cold cold cold cold morning.  holy cow.  walked around camp wearing my sleeping bag while trying to warm up.

each day we're working up our mileage.  while planning we decided to take the first portion slow.  we hadn't backpacked any major mileage for years, and wanted to ensure that we didn't get injured or destroy ourselves by going out too fast too soon (in the next few days, we'll run into people whose partners had to drop out because they started doing 20 miles a day cold)

the hike up the brook and through the gulch is beautiful, but monotonous and at the kind of incline that kills me: not super steep, but steep enough to hurt for 6-7 miles.  listened to Hannibal Burress' comedy album, which made me crave chicken fingers and french fries. ok.

once we got to the top of the gulch guess what we did? we went down!  down a bunch of dry switchbacks until we entered segment 5 and headed back into Lost Creek Wilderness.

the wilderness alternated between dense forest, meadows, and aspen groves.  it was beautiful, but endless.  we were so excited to get out of it, to finally feel like we made some progress.

we came to a road and saw a group of folks picnicking, they hollered to us and told us they were Colorado Trail volunteers doing some work for the weekend.  they fed us fresh watermelon, gave us homemade energy bars, and a bag of milano cookies - and a CT bandana for C!  this was a huge pick me up and we were so grateful.  

after we left them we had a few miles to our campsite above Johnson Gulch.  climbed up, set up camp fast - due to impending thunderstorm, and chowed on dinner and cookies.

day five: Craig Creek to Brookside-McCurdy, 8/16/14

5 miles

our first really cold morning of the trip, and we're only at 9400 ft.  at this point, I'm nervous about the temperature for all our high altitude days.

got an early enough start to get in 5 miles by noon.  but by noon, i was toast.  we didn't have water at the campsite last night, so we started the day a little dehydrated.  this was also the first day i had no appetite, but was also super hungry.  very happy for a short day, to rest and fuel up.

the hike for today continued up the log road, and through a very dense wet forest.  lots of mushrooms.

C found an amazing site with a  creek, waterfall, sitting area, and tent area - and excellent views of the valley.  we set up camp, washed our clothes and ourselves, and i climbed into tent and napped hard for an hour.  this area seemed to be a good place for day mountain bikers to get in a good ride. 

C puttered around and made repairs and cleaned while i read Tasteful Nudes by Dave Hill and John Muir.

views of the valley

drying clothes at camp

John Muir is a maniac

day four: Morrison Creek to Lost Creek, 8/15/14

14 miles

nice easy start to the day, working down to Buffalo Creek.

ate lunch at the river, soaked feet, prepped for climb.  climb turned out to be super hot, sunny, and pretty exposed.  i hiked with headphones, listening to music, and it made the climb much more manageable.

sat and ate lunch at Rolling Creek TH and entered into segment 4.

segment 4 starts with a solid climb up an old rocky logging road.  it started to rain, of course, so we suited up.  the trail worked it's way through a giant aspen grove, which shined yellow while we hiked through sun showers.  these sun showers became one of the our high points on the trail, they were beautiful.

camped on a ridge at Craig Creek.  planned a zero day for tomorrow, but we're going to move a few miles to a more open campsite and take a short day.

Scraggy Peak
C keeping us legal and getting a permit at Lost Creek

 the logging road, if only I had taken a picture during the sunshowers