First breakfast was at the Snowshoe Lodge, my home for the past two nights. They make home made quiche and fancy cakes along with all the usual continental breakfast fare. From 7-8am I ate and drank. At 8am I wandered across town to meet up with another group of hikers, second breakfast.
All Good, Cheesy, Buttercup, Big John and Zippy Morocco were all there. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while. We discussed the conditions of the trail and related our tails of misfortune. They were heading north out of town after breakfast. I still hadn’t made up my mind. North out of town or west back to the section of trail I left a couple of days ago.
I grabbed a coin sitting on the table and tossed it. Heads I go back west where I came from, tails I go north to meet up with the trail. I was comfortable with either decision.
Tails. I looked around the table and announced I was walking north out of town. They were also heading this way. I might catch up them all at some stage, maybe on the trail or maybe in the next town of Salida.
Greg in Wild, French Paul and Chauntel walked in. They had driven from Pagosa Springs. They joined us. They are having a couple of days off before getting back on trail. I show them photos and videos of the trail and advised them as best as I could on conditions.
I bid farewell and check out of the hotel. A car pulls up next to me. They ask if I’m a CDT hiker. Then Thermometer jumps out of the car. He had hitchhiked into town. I first met thermometer on the PCT last year. We both started in the same day and continued to see each other all the way through the desert. He speaks little English and loves beer and whiskey. I helped him with directions, as best as my show and tell body language would allow. I pointed him to a cheap restaurant and told him I’d see him on the trail.
I didn’t want to travel very far today. There was a big climb out of town and I didn’t want to induce any form of altitude sickness. Even though my body is adapting much better now.
I felt strong as I hiked up the steep dirt road out of town. Surprisingly strong. The rest had served me well. I passed many old mining ruins. I only paused long enough to catch my breath and have a quick look. I followed the narrow gorge till I reached the open areas where few trees call home. For me it was home for the night. Alone on the trail for the first time.