Date- October 1, 2019
Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 11,660 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 17.6 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1967.5 miles
Weather/Temp- clear, windy, 40s, 50s
Pain level- zero
Spirits/Morale- at ease
Wildlife encounters- none
Days without shower- 1
Days without laundry- 12
We caught a ride from a local taxi service back to the trail at 7 am – but not before the driver (Christine) stopped by the local bakery to let us get breakfast.
By a little after 8 am – Jetpack, Toast, and I were hiking out of Wolf Creek Pass. It was a beautiful day even though it was freezing and windy. Jetpack and Toast were planning on 25 miles today, but I really wasn’t feeling it this morning. I was tired and utterly fed up with getting hammered by freezing wind along with constantly being exposed. I was also exhausted from not getting any sleep due to my allergy symptoms.
Slow and Steady
It’s only 68 miles to the next town, so I’m not too concerned with making big miles right out of the gate. I’ll have several options to play with: maybe a 2.5 day easy hike; a 3 day super easy hike; or a 2 day hard hike. I’m setting my sights for hopefully 2.5 days. At this point, I’ve decided the timer for this hike is officially off. It no longer matters how long it takes me to reach Mexico. I’ve made it through the narrow time window as needed, as well as the specific sections I’ve had my eye on. So today was a bit of an ode to no longer being in a hurry.
I hiked slow and took close to 3 hours worth of breaks in spots that were out of the relentless wind. I never saw Jetpack or Toast after leaving the pass, and ended up doing about 6 miles less than them. The spot they had in mind to finish up their day was very exposed. I decided to stop early where there were trees to provide a decent cover.
Even though the San Juans are done, we’re going to be at high elevations for a bit longer. I can’t wait to be consistently under 10k feet again. This high elevation stuff is not for me.
All in all, today wasn’t that bad. My allergies disappeared within an hour of getting back on trail. Couldn’t tell you how or why, but I feel 100% better! The terrain was super easy today, albeit super cold and windy – as per usual. A good chunk was even in the trees, but the wind still prevailed.
I wrapped the day up pretty early at a spot called Elwood Pass. Townie and Animal are here, as well as Sharkbait and Leap Frog. I assume Jetpack and Toast made it to where they were aiming for about 8 miles ahead. I’ll try and catch them tomorrow. The area I’m in is forested, but the wind is still ripping through. I’ve set up my tarp as a wind break, as well as extra insulation.
I’m going to shoot for 36 miles tomorrow, that way I can have a short 16 mile day into Chama.
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