Date- September, 1, 2019
Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 9,406 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 16 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1,393.8 miles
Weather/Temp- clear, 70s
Pain level- zero
Spirits/Morale- Ready to rock!
Wildlife encounters- alpacas
Days without shower- 1
Days without laundry- 1
First day of September! Yikes!!
The four of us got a late breakfast before Jetpack, Sharkbait, and Leap Frog called a taxi to get back up to Rabbit Ears Pass. My situation was a little more complicated. I needed to get back up to Buffalo Pass. However, most of the road was in such poor condition that the taxi service didn’t go up there. I don’t blame them.
The Art of the Hitch
So, I ended up using the taxi service to get to the edge of the dirt road at Buffalo Pass (after leaving the motel around 11:30 am). From there I started hitchhiking and got a ride in the back of a pickup with two bicyclists. However, they were only going halfway up. When they got to the halfway point and parked, I had to hop out and continue hitching. Thankfully it was a holiday weekend, so there was no shortage of people. It wasn’t long before three young people from Denver picked me up in their Subaru Outback – giving me a lift the rest of the way. When I hit the trail it was just turning 1 pm. An hour and a half to go 13 miles back to trail wasn’t too bad (especially given the condition of that God forsaken road).
I had 15 miles to reach the spot where Jetpack and the other two had hitched in from. Honestly, that area was going to be my stopping point for the day; so I already knew they were going to be a half day ahead of me. I only wanted to do those 15ish miles because there’s a 10 mile walk along a busy highway after that. I just didn’t feel like dealing with it at the end of the day.
The trail was very gradual and graded up to the highway. I ran into several day hikers, mountain bikers, and elk hunters. Bow season for elk started yesterday. As a result, there will be no shortage of hunters creeping along the trail for probably the vast majority of Colorado.
Gas Tank is Full
I hiked steady and leisurely up until about 6 miles. At that point I began to feel very queasy and my stomach got upset. I sat down and stretched out, breathing deeply for close to 20 minutes. I fell asleep a couple times. When I woke up the second time, I was feeling a little better and began hiking again.
From that point on, I was burping and farting like crazy. And you know what? I felt 100% better. I guess the rapid ascent to high elevation did something to my body, causing whatever I ate to finally begin producing gas. Well, so long as I kept farting, I was feeling good!
I didn’t stop again for the rest of the day and finished up 16 miles a little after 6 pm. I’m kinda sandwiched between a popular campground at Rabbit Ears Pass and a busy highway (a couple miles south of it).
Being in the middle of a long weekend, there are people camped everywhere. After meandering down a small road for about a mile, I dodged up an embankment and found a flat spot in some pines. Now I’m cowboy camped – cozy as a bug in a rug. This is the first day of September, as well as the first day hiking without my hammock. It’s cowboy camping or tarping from here on out! Should be interesting – we’ll see how it goes.
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