Sunday, December 8, 2013

Colorado Trail Adventure - Day 2

  • July 4, 2013
  • Start - 6:10am
  • End - 5:45pm
  • Distance - 29 mi.
  • Segment - 6
  • Lunch Break - 20 min lunch
  • Rest Stop - 15 min
I had a more leisurely morning at my crummy Kenosha Pass campsite. I slept very well only waking once at 3:15am. I then slept til my alarm went off at 4:45. And thank goodness, I didn't have to go pee in the middle of the night like the day before. Creepy! I had the usual breakfast of coffee, oatmeal and donuts…and then I was off on the trail. This day is the tale of two halves. Miles 0-15 were awesome. The trail from Kenosha to Georgia Pass was stunning.  

Day 2 - Segment 6 awaits

Highway 285 cutting through South Park.

Hiking in the early morning was always my favorite time of the day. 

 Georgia Pass just right of center.

The only downer was getting swarmed by mosquitoes at Jefferson Creek I hiked uphill so stinkin' fast, but still couldn't keep a gajillion of them from landing on me and snacking.

6 miles down, 6 to go - Georgia Pass!  Yeah, thumbs up until the mosquitoes attacked 10 second later.

The scene at the start of the attack.  Jefferson Creek and home to swarms of menacing mosquitoes.

Overall I felt surprisingly great after such a long day yesterday. The miles leading up to treeline and the pass were my favorite. The air temp and breeze were a perfect reward up there and I wish I could have stayed above treeline much longer. The only bummer about the pass is the ATV roads. Noise City!

Mt. Guyot (pr. gee-yoh).

The final pitch to the pass.  The first time above treeline.

Georgia Pass!

After descending from the Pass, the last 14 miles of the day were quite boring and at times miserable. I had an amazing lunch at mile 15 and then the sufferfest began. There were huge, white puffy clouds out, but not once did they block the sun for me.

The trail above treeline is short.  You can see Keystone Resort in the distance and that's where I was headed.

Happy Fourth of July!

My lunch spot.  Georgia Pass is just to the left of Mt. Guyot.


It didn't help that I hiked miles upon miles through beetle-killed forest, so gobs of trees were cut down. No shade! I plodded on, but the sun beat me down. I went though water like crazy, and had to apply sunscreen way too many times. There was nothing unique about those 14 miles.

Getting ridiculously hot now!  My face looked just like this.

Hiking further and further away from Georgia Pass.

The Colorado Chainsaw Massacre.  This movie played out for miles of unshaded and baking forest!

I decided to call it a day around mile 29. 4 miles short of segment 6's end.

Um, no.  I was not setting up camp down this trail!

I was done & dirty and I came upon a tiny creek to clean off and refill my water. Then the data guide said there were campsites .2 miles after the creek. Yeah, campsites surrounded by downed trees! I found another thumbs down campsite, but took it. Of course to make matters worse, there were hoards of mosquitoes just waiting to play with me as a setup my tent. So I applied bug spray to my nice clean arms. Oh and the tent – I happened to pick the rockiest soil, so none of my tent stakes would go in the ground. And here comes the wind with a storm to boot. I heated water as the rain started to spit. The mosquitoes didn't mind the rain at all. It was the second night in a row for eating dinner in the tent.

Today featured interactions with many more people. All the hikers were thru hikers heading to Durango. Some of them didn't look so hot. I’m guessing the CT honeymoon was over. The mountain bikers on the trail were a piece of work. At least 5 times bikers came up behind me silently, only to announce themselves and cause me to jump. Argh! Couldn't they have said something 50’ back?

Oh well, off to the Ten Mile Range and Copper Mountain tomorrow. It should be a great day. And I’m going to settle for nothing short of an amazing campsite tomorrow night. Thanks to the deer for wandering into my campsite tonight. See, there is beauty in the beetle-killed trees!

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