12th June

28.8 miles (46.3km)

Van Tassen Gulch (834.2) to Razor Creek (863)

After my days in the snow of the San Juan Mountains I never thought I’d appreciate roadwalking so much. It was a pleasure to watch the miles disappear under my feet. Forests of Aspens and open fields stretching out to distant mountains. The trail follows the Colorado Trail for the whole day.

It was mid morning before I caught Thermometer. He starts hiking at 4am. So even though he camped behind me last night he was many miles ahead before I stirred. He told me he took a wrong turn at a road and walked a long way before turning back. We were met by a group of older folk on their quad bikes or whatever they are called in this part of the world. We were temporary celebrities. They had never met anyone from South Korea or Australia before.

We walked together for several miles. We stopped at a small stream. For me I just filled my water bottle. For Thermometer it was lunchtime. Which for him means a cooked meal.

I left thermometer and slowly made my way uphill. Despite being over 10000ft I’m not breathless and I’m able to keep a good pace going.  It’s not long before I reach the top of a hill. Just in time for the first thunderstorm of the day. It’s becoming a regular thing in Colorado. It’s not heavy rain but annoying enough that I need to wear my full raingear. I was a strange sight as I crossed Highway 114. This hiker in the middle of nowhere in orange and black raingear. I did receive some strange looks.

Rain and thunderstorms continued well into the afternoon. At one point I sheltered under some trees when the rain was heavy and the Lightning was close. After the rain came the mosquitos. Dammit. Annoying little buggers. They feasted as I had no repellent. I hiked in my rain gear even though it was warm and stopped raining. They can’t bite though the raingear. 

I camped alone next to a stream. I almost didn’t want to stop. I was full of energy all day. I guess I’ve spent so much time at altitude that I’m now acclimated.


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6 Responses

  1. ADL

    Re: hiking in Cold wet, windy conditions: how do you avoid hyperthermia? I sweat a lot so I plan on wearing a Patagonia cap thermal shirt that can get wet with my rain jacket on top for wind chill. But haven’t had those conditions pop up yet this year. Glad your trekking again. ADL

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      That’s a hard question to answer. I also sweat a lot. Sometimes I just keep hiking, either faster or slower to regulate my body temperature. If I’m wet I also ensure that I have a set of dry clothes to wear, I only put them on when I get to camp.

      Reply
  2. Heather

    I see you’re back up to high-mileage days! That must feel great since you had to take some days off and decide what to do. Do you have a mosquito headnet? I just can’t get enough of the photos you take of those beautiful aspen trees. I had a full-color, poster-sized print of them in my room in high school when we lived in California for a few years during the mid-80s. I always loved spending time in the mountains camping, hiking, and skiing with my family and friends, especially at Yosemite, Big Bear, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia, but I wish now that I had spent even more time in the wilderness during those early years. Maybe now I’d be living in the mountains instead of the flatlands and enjoying the blessing of being able to jump on a trail whenever I want. I guess it’s never too late to make a dream come true! One more question – about how much does Thermometer’s backpack weigh??

    Reply
    • BikeHikeSafari

      I am currently in Salida, I just lifted his pack with 5 days of food. I think it weights twice the wright of mine, I think it weighs about 50-60 pounds.

      Reply
  3. Michael Irving

    Say hi to Thermo for me if you see him again. I gave trail magic to him last year I think earlier in the day on the day I met you…I think. He spoke two words of English when I met him during a break he was taking. “Santa Claus” (because of my big bag of chips). He even made me a cup of Korean coffee to thank me which was wonderful!

    -GoalTech

    Reply

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