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1213.5 (Breckinridge bus stop) to 1220.2 (6.7 miles)
First order of business was breakfast. I had bought things to make breakfast last night, knowing nothing in town was open until 10. The hostel had a full kitchen to use. So I got up and made bacon, hash browns (frozen in a bag), pancakes, and eggs along with orange juice. Another kady had bought some coffee to make. Wonderful. JustcJim and I had enough left over to share as well.
Next item was how to get back to the Dillon Wal Mart to resupply; from there we could catch the free bus to the trailhead. The next bus from Alma wasn’t until 12:52 so we decided to hitch. Just Jim made a sign and we stuck out our thumbs. It only took about 10 minutes before a nice pickup truck pulled over. The man was hearing impaired and used a note app in his phone to communicate with us. We also saw trekking poles in the back of his truck. Aha! Turns out he was a hiker too and had hiked the AT. (His dad also!) Another great conversation (via app) with someone who picked us up. His trail name is Scribe. And his dog liked us too. He was kind enough to brave the traffic in Dillon to bring us straight to the Wal Mart. Thank you Scribe!
Our next segment is to Winter Park, Colorado, about 80 miles. We conservatively got five day’s worth of food since the section brings us over the highest point in the CDT, Gray’s Peak.
After buying our resupply, we got lunch from in front of the Wal Mart from a charity raising funds. Then we caught a bus at a stop right behind the store to make our way to the trailhead, conveniently right at another bus stop.
We started trail after all this at 3:00. We set a goal of a campsite only about six miles in. We didn’t need to go far and a climb beyond the selected site meant it would be awhile before another one would be available.
It was very warm but ‘clear’. There was a haze in the valley from a forest fire north of Steamboat Springs; that fire may affect the CDT later for us.
As always, the trail climbed initially. However, it was very well maintained and only really steep in short sections. We made very good time. And, as expected, saw lots of southbound CT hikers as well as mountain bikers. This won’t last long as tomorrow we will reach the point where the CDT and CT diverge.
Our hopeful campsite was right at the beginning of a long climb. There were good comments in Guthook about it, which made us realize along the way that it might be occupied wen we got there. Sure enough, there were three tents already set up. Disappointed, we trudged on up the mountain, hopeful to find a suitable spot without having to do the whole climb. Just Jim expertly found a small shelf that could hold three small tents about a mile later, protected in the trees. As we set up, a CT hiker asked to join us.
Overall a good day again. I am so thankful to be out here. I am also thankful to see how God provides in even the smallest details and provides opportunities to meet people.