Thursday July 5, 2018
16.6 Miles Total mileage 197.8
Last night SHORTCUT was sitting outside on the front porch. She called me out to check out the storm that was moving in. As soon as I stepped out side I know it wasn’t a storm. It was smoke!!! I could smell it. It is the first time we had any smoke of any kind. Sometimes we could see smoke off in the distance, but never could we smell it. It’s hard to believe but each day we hike I can see signs that there had once been a fire in the area. I heard that one of the fires was started at a shooting range.
We left our cute little cabin this morning and rather than take the 1.95 mile side trail back to the CT we decided to get shuttled down the road where the trail was next to the road. So I skipped 3.8 miles of trail. And I paid for it. We got lost twice early this morning and only covered 2.4 miles in 3 hours. I think I walked those 3.8 miles anyway.
Some how we walked right by this sign and didn’t even see it. We had to back track .6 miles to where we missed our turn.
We had some pretty nice hiking weather this today. The high was only in the low 70’s with a chance of some afternoon storms. We had a big climb at the end of the day when we were supposed to get the storms. We were hoping that the storms would hold off until after we summited the big climb and it did. You don’t want to be on top of a mountain in a lightning storm. We were really lucky. When we were doing our big climb it was threatening to rain and it did sprinkle some, but I was most grateful for the cloud cover. Once I started down the other side of the mountain the sun came back out and there was a lot less smoke.
View from my awesome lunch spot.
Fallen tree right over the trail.
There is a huge beaver dam in this creek.
Friday July 6, 2018
18.8 Miles Total mileage 216.6
We got a tiny bit of rain last night, but I woke up to a dry tent and chilly temperatures. It was 38 this morning.
I have been following these animal tracks for days now and finally figured out what animal makes them.
It’s a Llama! When we rolled into to camp tonight they were here. Apparently a woman hiked 160 miles of the trail last year and carrying a pack was just killing her back. So she rented a couple of Llamas to carry her gear.
At about 11:30am we started our difficult climb for the day. It was a 3 mile climb up with 2600 feet of elevation gain. I did not do so well on this climb. I was hot and had to take numerous tiny breaks in the way it. I would basically move from shady spot to shady spot.
Saturday July 7, 2018
11.8 Miles Total Mileage 230
We woke up to a less chilly morning temperatures. It was 42 this morning. It is still tough to get out of those warm thermals.
Today we were headed into Mt Princeton/Hot Springs. There is a resort right on the trail. I was happy to be headed in for a shower. The days have been pretty warm and I was super stinky. It seems to me that once you have been out here for a while the stinkness returns just as soon as you start to sweat again. Plus the new longsleeve shirt I purchased to block the sun was mostly polyester and polyester gets pretty stinky. I love to hike in wool. You can wear those shirts for days and it won’t smell to bad. It also seems to wick the sweat away from my skin better as well.
We saw some bear tracks this morning. It was unclear to me of they were black bear tracks or brown bear. When I later check on Google I discovered that brown bears do not live in Colorado. So the tracks are from the more skittish black bear.
We have seen a lot of horse poop on the trail last couple of days. My hiking partner, SHORTCUT has this theory that horse pop is non-stick. So of course she has to put it to the test. So you dare.. check out the video below for the results. If it doesn’t gross you out you should get a good laugh from it.
As we were getting closer to Mt Princeton/Hot Springs we passed a ranch that is a kids camp.
The trail turned into a 3 mile road walk on black top into town. Road walking is the worst with a pack on. It’s hot and there is no shade. We decided that if a car passed us we would try and hitch a ride into town. We walked over a mile before the first car passed us and we stuck out our thumbs. Yeah, they picked us up so we didn’t have to do the last 1.6 miles of road walking. It was a group of day hikers visiting the area and they so kindly made room for us in their rental. I bet that they didn’t realize when they stopped that we would smell so bad. Luckily for them it was a very short trip.
We got to the resort about noon and our room was not ready so we sat at a little corner in the bar hoping we were far away from most of the guest that they could not smell us and had lunch. Then we headed over to the spa to get showers while we were still waiting for our room. When we got to our room it was the usual of cleaning gear and doing laundry in the bathtub since there was not a laundry room here.