CDT mile 988.6, miles hiked 22

Two residents of the Black Forest

We slept in for a bit this morning and I think all of us needed some extra rest to recover from the past few days of pushing miles in elevation.  After finally storing out of bed we rolled down to the golden burro cafe for a relaxed breakfast.  I chowed down on a large chicken fried steak and pancake.   After that we rolled to the post office and sent off some stuff before returning to the hostel to pack up to go.

The famous Leadville Hostel

A walk through town brought us to the local Subway I had a few gift cards from the Perry family from my birthday so I treated Buttercup and Cheezy to a sub to eat on our way out of town.  From there we went to Safeway to grab a days worth of food and meet up with Stop n Go.  We took off for the hitch back to trail, a nice guy gave all of us a ride back to trail and then we started our hike for the day.

Climbing to the ridge

We walked along an old road and passed Camp Hale home of the 10th mountain divisions training grounds before they headed to fight in Italy.  From there we had to climb 2,000′ over 4 miles, the trail was not too steep and the climb went quicker than expected.  When Cheesy and I reached the top of the ridge the sky was dark and the thunder could be heard far off in the distance.  We saw the next few miles would be a along a treeless ridge and very exposed, we had no choice but to push on.  The two of us put on our rain jackets to cut the wind and started walking as fast we could.  When we finally made our way across the ridge and crested the final pass (Selden Pass) the sky opened up and the rain started to come down.  The Thunder and lightning started up and the two of us turned on the afterburners to make the trees ASAP.  As we started down we found Stop N Go sitting on the ridge having a snack with a storm brewing, confused and bewildered we told him to get his ass moving downhill as that was bad place to be.  The three of us cruised downhill trying to get to Jacque Creek to meet Buttercup.  Once in the trees, the lightning kept getting closer, once right above us we sat in the trees with packs off waiting for the lightning to pass.

A ridge and a storm, Cheezy works her way towards Selden Pass

Once it passed we walked on in the pouring rain, the rain was cold (later we learned it was 40 degrees) and we all wished it would let up but it didn’t.  We kept walking as quick as we could and found Buttercup hiding under agree trying to stay warm, we all decided to keep on moving and make it to the highway if possible, as the sun was setting we made it to a group of houses at the top of a ski run, we debated a stealth camp among them but after a few minutes deviate we opted to try a hotel at the resort.  We walked down the road and stumbled into a camp at hotel, after a few minutes of expelling ourselves they suggested a bus to Frisco so we could get a cheap room, a hot meal, and get warm.

I work my way towards the woods through mud and rain

We rode the bus down the hill and a few minutes later were checked into the Snowshoe Hotel, our hunger was huge so we walked up the street and got some amazing Italian food.  A hottie Totty and Chicken Parm were a great way to end a soggy day.  The rain kept coming and going and I think I speak for everyone when say we just wish the rain would go away for bit and let us enjoy the Colorado high country.