26th June

29.3 miles

Cataract Creek (1026.1)  to Hwy 9 (1055.4)

I was first on trail in the morning. I felt great and was actually hungry at breakfast for the first time in many days. Yesterday was just a blur. The result of not eating enough food on a section of trail where I needed lots of calories.

I was faced with a 2500ft climb. I took my time and got to the top with lots of energy in reserve. Soju had passed me and further down the trail I could see Nips catching up. 

From the top of Kokomo Pass there was a large open cut mine on the other side of the valley. Complete with several large tailing ponds, dams and infrastructure. Mining is a big thing in Colorado. Not sure what they are mining.

There were two more passes to negotiate before descending. Many Colorado Trail hikers were heading southbound. Several with dogs. Hiking and camping with dogs on trails. You just can’t do that sort of thing I’m national parks in Australia. Too many critters for the dogs to chase and attack. Great to see it here.

I paused for lunch at the last pass. All downhill for many miles to Copper Mountain Ski resort. I hiked with Nips for most of the way. We both hiked the PCT last year but never met. Same with Easyrider who wasn’t far behind.

Copper Mountain ski resort was open. Desperate skiers and snowboarders crammed onto a small patch of snow to do tricks on rails. I was more interested in food. I felt hungry which was a good sign. Nips, Easyrider, Zorro and I headed to the gas station that promised Dr Pepper and a large healthy Sub sandwich. 

I was so full. What next. The trail continued over to highway 9. A large 3500ft climb. Or there was the Shepherd alternate. Which was a 7 mile walk to the town of Frisco in the bike path. All downhill. I chose the Shepherd alternate. 

It was late when I arrived in Frisco. I stayed at the Snowshoe Hotel. Big John joined me soon after. I was still full from the large sandwich so couldn’t eat dinner. For the next couple of days I’ll be resting and eating nothing but healthy food. Back on trail Friday, 5 days away. Until then.

Can you see the hiker on the trail

what about now

hello Soju

we all know not to eat yellow snow! Red snow is worse, much worse.

thats a litre of dr pepper and a foot long sub

8 Responses

  1. Mary Alice Davis

    In snowy places across the globe, “watermelon snow” forms as the summer sun heats up and melts winter’s leftovers. The colorful snow is made up of communities of algae that thrive in freezing temperatures and liquid water, resulting in algal blooms. When these typically green organisms get a lot of sun, they produce a natural type of sunscreen that paints the slopes pink and red. The addition of color to the surface darkens the snow, allowing it to heat up faster, and melt more quickly. You are correct, Shepherd, when advising NOT to eat red snow. It’s beautiful but not very tasty. Saw a large patch recently at 9000 feet around Sonora Pass. Quite impressive. Be well.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks Mary. The algal blooms only seem to have started in the last 3-4 days.

  2. leggypeggy

    Nice to read Mary Alice’s description of how red snow occurs, and great to see the pics that explain doing tricks on the rails. Enjoy your rest.

  3. Roy

    Curious if you encountered Yogi Bear yet, because you are in a state that has quite a few bears….Do you even carry pepper spray….I have used it many times but always on people I was arresting….

    • BikeHikeSafari

      No signs of bears in Colorado, and no sightings. More evidence of bears in New Mexico. I’ll be carrying bear spray once I hit grizzly country up in Wyoming to Canada. I too have used pepper spray and been pepper sprayed (in training) but not against bears.

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