Day- 87 Date- September 14, 2019 Location- side of trail Elevation- 11,079 ft Distance Traveled Today- 16.1 miles Distance Traveled Total- 1640.9 miles Weather/Temp- clear, 60s, 70s Injuries- none Pain level- zero Spirits/Morale- A little anxious Wildlife encounters- none Days without shower- 0 Days without laundry- 7 Hunger/craving- zero
Today didn’t play out quite how I envisioned it – but in good ways. It was a completely random day that ended up being full of trail magic.Coma had us back to trail in his Bronco by 9:15 am. Before that we’d been having breakfast at a breakfast joint called the Golden Burro. This wouldn’t really warrant a mention except for one little thing that happened…There were four of us eating: Jetpack, Coma, me, and a Colorado Trail thru- hiker named “Swift.” When we got the bill it was $44 and they hadn’t split it up. Both Jetpack and I threw in twenty dollar bills and then I added my debit card and told the waitress to put the remaining $4 on it.
Now, the waitress was a rough looking woman in her sixties, and had shown us very little patience or kindness throughout our dining experience. She took the cash and card and was gone for nearly 5 mins. When she came back she handed me the receipt to sign. It was printed for $44 and didn’t show anything that would suggest that she’d run my card for the remaining $4 balance. I signaled her back over and asked if she ran my card for $44 or $4. She went into a diatribe about my card not scanning several times and giving her trouble. She then said she had gotten confused and accidentally ran it for the full amount. The way she explained it made absolutely no sense, and I could tell she was making up excuses.
And the Lesson Is…
Rather than press her, I decided to let her off the hook and told her it was okay. I informed her that she could just give me back the other two 20 dollar bills that should have accidentally been deposited into the register; she obviously agreed to this. But, instead of going to get them, she pulled both bills out of her apron pocket and handed them to me. That is not where they should have been, and she realized her mistake as soon as she produced them. Her next words were literally, “I’m sorry I tried to rip you off.” However, she said it sheepishly as if it were supposed to be a joke. I once again let her off the hook and told her it was fine, then left her a $10 tip anyway. I don’t know if any lessons were learned that day, or by whom… Nonetheless, that’s never happened to me before at a restaurant. I don’t know if it’s a common scam when you split cash and card; I just don’t know.
Anyhow, Coma dropped Jetpack, Swift, and me back at Tennessee Pass and the day’s hike began. We were only planning on 22 miles, but even that got impeded.As far as the day went, it was gorgeous; not a cloud in the sky. As for the trail… it was incredibly well maintained and marked. This was the norm since the Colorado Trail and CDT have married up and become one.I hiked slowly through evergreen forests all day, taking my time and enjoying the beautifully manicured trail. I didn’t see anything particularly noteworthy, and nothing noteworthy happened until around 5 pm…
Just as I finished a steep thousand foot climb up to 11k ft, I ran into Coma parked on the side of a forest road. He decided to surprise us at a random remote trail crossing with some drinks and food! What’s more… it wasn’t just him. It was pure serendipity when a large group of off-road enthusiasts (who called themselves “Overland Eats”) had chosen the same random spot to meet up, cook a bunch of food, and otherwise have a good time.These were very wealthy folks from Denver (mostly entrepreneurs). Between them, there were probably a couple million dollars worth of brand new decked-out Toyota Tacomas, Jeeps, and Chevys. I’m talking the works! Anything you could do to make a vehicle look badass and ready to go anywhere – they’d done it and then some.
They invited all of us to join them, and we did! The ring-leader (Jason) was originally from New Orleans and had made a giant pot of gumbo on the spot. There was more food than anybody could possibly eat. So it became an all you can eat gumbo bonfire party with bottles of champagne, joints (legal in Colorado), and glasses of old fashions being passed around… while surrounded by these decked out vehicles that were lit up like Christmas.I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything quite like this. I don’t know how I end up in these peculiar situations, but I’m not complaining!I’m currently cowboy camped under some evergreens, a short distance away from the festivities. They’re a bit loud and enjoying themselves immensely – but I’m still not complaining! As soon as I finish this journal I’ll have no problem falling asleep – which will be right about… NOW.You can read my current and past posts, and see my photos by clicking this link and going to Boundlessroamad.comGo to CDT Day 88Go to CDT Day 1