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844.5 to Wolf Creek Pass (847.7) (3.2 miles) (hitchhike to Pagosa Springs)
I had a comfortable evening in the warming hut and got up a little early for the short hike to Wolf Creek Pass. The trail followed along the back edge of the ski area (part a narrow path cut into rock) and down a finger off the ridge to the Highway. Unfortunately, this descent was north facing so there was a fair amount of snow drifts and blowdowns. One last challenge before town.
The pass has a large turnout area with a sign so good news for hitchhiking. The bad news was that the area is regularly used by the state police for truck inspections also since the road down from the pass is notorious for its curves and steepness. (Note: lookup the song “Wolf Creek Pass” by CW McCall, 1975”). Sure enough, a state policeman pulled up just as I stuck out my thumb. Though hitchhiking is legal here, I think it affects people’s decisions seeing law enforcement there. Some more hikers showed up as well. We were momentarily hopeful when a car dropping off a hiker showed up, but their vehicle had overheated on the way up. Not long later a nice local lady pulled over and took three of us into Pagosa Springs.
Just before this hitch, I got a text from my uncle that lives in Moab, Utah wanting to come visit. I know what I am doing tomorrow!