We unsuccessfully failed at our zero by not sleeping in. I headed over to do our laundry and ate some delicious baked goods from the lodge and some coffee. I chatted with the owner until it was finished and tossed it in the dryer.
We waited until it was done to venture over for the famous 1.5lb burrito. Three of us finished our burritos.
In a food coma, we ventured to the grocery store and some outfitters. We later came back to organize our gear and relax.
I took a bath with epsom salt and stretched/rolled out some muscles. We walked around town again grabbing so various last minute snacks and a slice of cake from a local shop.
We hung around the room watching impractical jokers and eventually heading out for pizza.
Sadly we had to leave town early. Like too early for breakfast to be served. I arranged a shuttle driver to pick me and the boys up and take us back to the Equity Mine Trailhead. The ride took about 45 minutes, saving us from doing the 10 mile road walk. Now we just had to do 3 miles up the San Luis Pass and we would be on our way. The road walk didn’t seem as bad going down. We quickly covered the miles. The guys were ahead of me but we reconvened to talk about the camp location at the trail junction. The plan was to go 20ish miles to the Rito Honto stream. At that time Professor said if he could get a ride into Lake City he was going to go to 4 o’clock mass. We also knew our big west side bubble would be heading into town too….
He took the lead. Dine and Dash and I walked together the 1.3 to the high point, which we mistakenly thought it was “the high point” of the CT but it wasn’t. D and I took off down the trail. We wanted to try and get over all the saddles and the Mesa before the storms rolled in.
I never walked harder in my life. The ups are still difficult and leave me breathless. I have to stop every so often to catch my breathe. We climbed over two more saddles before some dark clouds rolled in and we got hit with some light rain and then hail. Now that it was just D and I we wanted to try and push into Silverton Monday because he has a work call on Tuesday.
Given that it was around 11, when we had to decide to push on or not we decided to take the chance because the sky looked pretty clear. We bolted across the Mesa. As a storm began to brew to our left. It thundered a few times but stayed over there.
We were relieved to see the trees again, so we could stop for lunch. It was 1 mile more or so the Spring Pass trailhead, which we were greeted by a mom and dad offering trail magic of water and apples while they waited for their daughter, who was also thru hiking the trail. They also informed us they had met Professor and he had gotten a ride into town.
The trail took us up hill again on a dirt road. We smelled farm animals but didn’t find any. We filled our waters up and heard the animals getting closer. We looked at the top of the hill and a massive heard of sheep where headed our way. We planned to camp near the water source but there was high grass and exposed terrain.
We decided to attempt 6 more miles, which turned into 3. The Shepard was herding his sheep and we got to walk right through them baaing at them. We reached the plateau and walked across as the trail carried us uphill again. There wasn’t much camping. We reached another Mesa, where we asked a couple and their dog, also backpacking, if they had seen any tent spots. We headed down the Mesa and camped in the bushes. We managed to text Professor where we camped. 23.5 miles