Day 10, Saturday July 4
The alarm went off at 6am and I was packed up and headed out of camp around 6:45am with Dine and Dash. Professor had a few camp things to take care of. He was pretty fast on the ups, so I wanted to get a head start.
When Dine and Dash stopped for a break, I caught up and we walked the rest of the way to the pass. This climb was much more gradual than yesterday’s. Towards the top, I had to stop but not as often. We sat and enjoyed the view and a snack. A marmot came out to join us and got a little too close. Brandon showed up next. I told Dine and Dash to go ahead and I’d wait for Professor. I headed to Elk Ridge before him. It was a walk with few snow patches but the trail carried us across the valley.
We reconvened at Elk Ridge each taking off at different times down to Kokocome pass. From there it was mostly downhill. Dine and Dash and I walked most of the way down together. Right when we encountered the field of sheep, Professor caught up. I tried to make friends with them but they ran away. He had been trying catch up for the last three miles. He was hurting. We had planned for 24 miles but it was looking more like 20. We also encountered a weird bunker like structure.
We made it Segment 9 just as it began to storm. We waited out the storm in the overhang of the bathroom and listening to the ukulele. Professor tried to get a hitch out in the rain without luck.
We hung out for about an hour until the rain began to lighten up. A few ladies showed up and Professor asked them if them could take us for pizza in Leadville. The said yes! They had just finished a few segments ahead of us. We hung around petting their dog and chatting until another hiker walked up also needing a ride. Before anymore showed up, we piled into the car and were dropped off at High Mountain Pies. The wait was over an hour. In the meantime, Professor had called the Inn the Clouds hostel and they just so happened to have 3 beds available. We were all hurting and exhausting and ready for another town day.
We walked the 5 blocks to the hostel, checked in, and ordered two pizzas and a salad to share. It was going to be a 2 hour wait.
In the meantime, we showered and started to watch Frozen 2. Professor ran to the store to pick up a few things for us. Dawson hung out and watched the movie with us. He was gracious enough to give us a ride back to the trail the next day.
When the food finallly arrived, we had a family style dinner, which Sparkles joined. Sparkles was the down to earth worker at the hostel.
After dinner, we watched the movie until 9:45. 15 minutes shy of quiet time and headed downstairs to organize a few things before heading to bed.