August 19, 2015
Leadville, despite the rugged appearance, was a wonderful but short resupply stop. Our mountain biker friends dropped us at the Safeway grocery store for resupply, then we walked a mile to the hostel.
The hostel was full so we were fortunate to get the last room. A 100 mile ultra-marathon is scheduled for the coming Saturday and most of the hostel guests were runners preparing for the race. Quincy’s bar/restaurant had a ten dollar, six ounce filet that is my favorite meal on the trip so far.
The hostel owner shuttled us back to the trail head at Tennessee Pass around 10am. After a few minutes observing the 10th Mountain Division Memorial at the trail head we entered the woods and continued southbound on the Colorado Trail.
Several cabins or huts are located near this section of trail so many hikers we met were going to and from the cabins. The huts are part of the 10th Mountain Division Hut system. They are available for rent 12 months a year for skiers and hikers.
The weather was very good and maybe fall like with a brisk wind, cool temperatures, and blue skies. Holli kept her long pants and fleece on most of the day.
The Holy Cross Wilderness was the highlight of the day as we enjoyed a moderate hike to a meadow and stream crossing. The trail then rose through the ponderosa pines, lodge pole pines, Engleman spruce, and finally leveled out at tree line.
Holli was struggling today with sore feet and a case of low energy. We stopped for an afternoon lunch by a mountain spring and re-laced her shoes. I also made her drink water until she felt sick.
The water was helping Holli feel better but we both missed a trail marker near Bear Lake. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts as you hike so this was a good reminder to snap out of it occasionally and look around. We hiked about 1/4 mile off route before the path started to deteriorate. We backtracked until we found our mistake.
We made it a short day as we finished the 13.6 miles in Segment 9 and hiked 1.2 miles into Segment 10. We camped by Busk Creek. The sound of the cascading stream put me right to sleep.
August 20, 2015
The trail to us on a 1,000 foot climb to start the morning. Another blue sky greeted us as we topped the ridge and found a stream to get water for breakfast. Holli and I have tried to hike a few miles between packing up camp and eating breakfast. I am not sure if this routine will last but I think she likes eating breakfast in the warm sunshine rather than the cold air that has greeted us the last several mornings.
There were many day hikers again today. Trail heads for Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert (Colorado’s two highest peaks) are located nearby and both use part of the Colorado Trail as the approach. The perfect weather was good for CT hikers and peak baggers.
We met a group of four hikers late in the afternoon. Before we could say hello the eldest man (60ish) ran up to Holli and pleaded in a southern drawl “we’re lost! Can you help us?” He tried to explain where they parked but all we could offer was where we had been and not to look where we had come from. We let them look at our guide book and I opened the GPS on my phone to at least give them the current altitude. They all seemed too frantic to listen so we continued on the CT while they continued on a side trail. We found what they were looking for 1/2 mile later and soon I could hear them running down the trail. Hopefully, they make it home safely tonight.
Holli was feeling much better today and it was a good thing. We covered 19 miles to arrive at Twin Lakes Village for resupply. The General Store stayed open for us while we had supper at the Twin Lakes Inn.
Our accommodations for the evening are in a rustic cabin built in the 1920’s. The temperature was already in the upper 40’s by dark so I lit a fire in the stove and that is where I sit as I’m thumbing this blog entry into the iPhone.