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It rained last night for a long time. Though the thunderstorms only lasted for a little while, the rain continued. So sleep wasn’t as good. And the rain was intermittently heavy. So even items in my tent vestibule got damp from splash back. Sigh. Bottom line is almost everything was at least damp from the rain or the condensation. Oh well.
Not many pictures for today. My only excuse was that it became a town day. We had miscalculated the mileage from Twin Lakes somehow (probably due to our shortcut) and figured out we were ‘only’ 21.6 miles from Tennessee Pass, something we could make. Go!
Most of the trail was in the trees today, something a little different from our recent hiking. The biggest climb of the day came right before lunch, so our average pace at lunch break was slower than desired. Additionally, we are meeting a lot of southbound CT hikers. Though it is fun talking to some of them, that also slows the pace. I felt rushed in the afternoon to make the mileage. However, the trail in the afternoon had some good long ‘cruisy’ sections which helped out.
Side note: with all the day hikers and CT hikers, we haven’t seen much large wildlife recently. I saw one deer today.
My hiking partner, Just Jim, made us reservations at a hostel in Leadville so we had a guaranteed place to stay. He made it to the pass first and got a hitch quickly. I made it just after 6 PM and got a hitch within 15 minutes; my best time so far. My other partner, Pockets, had taken a separate route into town, so we were all able to eat supper together. And we met back up with Feral, who had made it in several hours before us and was staying at the same hostel.
Logistically, it is going to be a little difficult to get back on trail tomorrow as planned. We got in late enough that after supper we couldn’t do laundry at the hostel before quiet hours and the washer and dryer are used for housekeeping in the morning. The town laundromat and grocery store are conveniently close to each other, but not near the hostel. Oh well, it always seems to work out.
Additional thought on the trip: for you logical/engineer types (like me) out there, you may be worried about my overall pace. You should be. On paper at least I ‘should’ be about 200 miles north of here to meet a mid-September finish. Well.... I don’t know what to do about it in the short term. As I proved today, increasing daily mileage in Colorado is not as simple as it sounds. For the moment, I will keep pressing forward.
Final thought (?): regarding the animal trying to get in my pack yesterday, some think it is a pine marten. What do you think?