Ute Creek(788.5)-Stony Pass(Silverton)(804.1)
Oh man, today had a bit of everything and it was a great end to the most physically challenging leg thus far. The goal of the day was to make it to Stony Pass so we could get a ride to town and sleep in a bed…mission accomplished! It was mostly snow free again today and we were very thankful for that! Most of the day was well over 12,000ft and there were looonngg steep climbs with views that made it worth. It EPIC stuff…
As the usual pattern goes, the clouds gathered by noon and the weather was all around us. We would have a minute of sun and feel like we were sweltering and then it would snow lightly for a minute and you’d want your beanie and down jacket. It’s like the weather is bipolar here! The Colorado Trail now overlaps with the CDT for the next 234mi (the CT is almost 500mi long).
Rockin’ and Silly Chili have done amazing with the acclimation and they are keeping pace with hikers who have been doing this well over a month. Silly Chili hardly seems to be affected at all and Rockin’ usually doesn’t have a problem with elevation, but is definitely feeling it this week. Today was rough nausea and she was a real trooper. We have been taking it slow and breaking more, which makes for longer days, but it will be like this for just a couple weeks until they are fully acclimated.
I’m in a bit of a slump and having a rough go of it this leg. I feel like no matter what I do, my body feels horrible. I’m still dealing with coughing a bit and some nausea with the elevation. I’m definitely moving slow on the steep uphills. I dealt with cramps and exhaustion most of this leg and now am trying to rebound. To top it all off, my body doesn’t do well with breaks and we’ve been taking them often to help with the acclimation. Yesterday, I stood up from a break with a slight pull in my right inner thigh just above my knee. Today it became and extremely painful pulled or torn muscle that killed on downhills and made me actually wish for uphills where I still feel it, but at least it isn’t tearing or pulling. I’m so frustrated and just tired and cranky…basically pissed off and tired of feeling tired and injured. My body better get it in check soon! It is only one and half days to our next town, so I’m going to see if it just works itself out.
When we got to Stony Pass, we were 10mi from the town of Silverton. A woman named Wiffer and her husband Gogi hosts hikers about an hour from the pass and picks you up. She has a son that did the CDT a few years ago and she can host 6 hikers at once. In addition to me, Rockin’, and Silly Chili, she is also hosting Whuppin’ Stick, Ross, and Ross’s girlfriend Danni who is visiting. It is an amazing setup at her summer condo with a pool and hot tub. Wiffer also makes all your meals and has food sitting out for you to constantly snack on. So giving! At the pass, Wiffer even has a bucket full of chocolate for hikers. A warning to hikers that cell phones are real random out there and we were not able to get a hold of Wiffer and ended up getting a hitch…we got real lucky as it is a really random pass and a difficult hitch. It’s nice to be somewhere warm and inside tonight…I be tired…