This trail couldn’t have changed more since entering Colorado. The trail is definitely more difficult than Montana and Wyoming but also much better maintained. 10,000 feet in elevation is basically a base line currently, going as high as 13,000. The towns that we resupply in have gone from gas stations in population 57 towns to insanely priced ski resorts.
More to come about Colorado if and when we finish walking across it in the next blog. For now, let’s delve into the good stuff:
– Boo Boo subscribes to a policy that I was not previously aware of until now: “Always grease the crease.” We are enlightened to the meaning of this one day when he intensely “breaks wind.” It is audible to the point that there might be an emergency in his shorts. After ensuring that he is ok, he says “Oh that’s just the Vasoline… ALWAYS grease the crease.”
– While sleeping one night, we all wake up at the same time to a commotion in camp. We all immediately start yelling. From the best we can tell, a moose was trying to steal a midnight snack.
– Trail magic at its finest: a cowboy on a horse rides up to me on the trail and asks where I’m coming from and heading to. After telling him what I’m doing, he says “I’ve got just the thing for you” while reaching into his saddle bag. He proceeds to hand me a hot Busch Light. I don’t have the heart to turn down a hot beer that I have to pack out the empty can of.
– Since the Nobo vs. Sobo games, my heart has slightly warmed to Nobos. One day, a Nobo (hiker headed from Mexico to Canada rather than vice versa) headed toward me opens with “There’s a Sobo that has a bear-proof food bag that wants to sell it to me!” (Keep in mind this is a total stranger and few people carry bear-proof food bags.) I respond by stopping, not saying anything, taking off my pack, and pulling out my bear-proof food bag. Seeing that I’m leaving bear country, I say “$20 and it’s yours.” He looks dumbfounded that his joke actually played out out and says “Here’s $30!”
– The Appalachian Trail has its many shelters. The Continental Divide Trail has the one and only Encampment Camper. Apparently someone had an extra camping trailer sitting around and decided they wanted to donate it to the CDT community. They parked it at a trailhead and left a sign on the door that says “All CDT hikers welcome to stay in the camper.” After sweeping up all the rat droppings, lighting up a few provided candles, finding the only station on the old school radio, and getting over the fear of getting bed bugs; it turned into a lovely evening.
– The owner of the motel we stay at on a night off kindly agrees to drive us back to the trail the following morning. We all pile in and throw some of our packs in his roof rack storage. Once we are ready to roll, our driver goes to close the roof storage. I’m in the third row seat and hear our driver begin cussing and watch him walk away with his hands on his face. We are all confused until someone gets out and yells “Get out of the car! Bear spray is spraying everywhere!” I simultaneously begin coughing and launch myself over the backseat and scurry out. Apparently, the storage lid closed directly onto the trigger of someone’s bear spray. The casualties didn’t end there. The worst was someone not washing their hands well enough before taking a pee…
Short and sweet will do it for now. This round’s suggested reading is about the frequently asked question of what gear I carry. Check out Bar Bears / Smoked Snow / Line Skippers : PCT Blog #4.
We’re currently in Salida, Colorado with 1,936 miles down and 1,064 to go. The San Juan Mountains stand between us and the New Mexico border. Until next time.
Do what you love,