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1276.8 to 1287.4 (10.4 miles)(Berthoud Pass to hitch to Winter Park)
After the wild thunderstorm yesterday, the rain lasted well into the evening. Though I was warm in my tent, I was concerned that everything would be wet from condensation this morning. It wasn’t! The clouds cleared during the night and a dry breeze started early. Surprisingly, most everything was dry this morning. The only bad news was the breeze was cold, so I started off hiking with both my fleece and wind jacket on, a rarity for me.
I hiked the short distance to Just Jim and found he had a worse site than me. It was a very narrow saddle between two peaks with no true flat spot. His tent was perched just feet away from a snow cornice on a steep drop off. It worked, but was not a place you would normally camp.
The cool/cold breeze continued throughout the morning. The trail continued high on exposed ridge line. But it was obvious we were approaching a popular trailhead as we started seeing more and more day hikers. It was a beautiful area.
As is normal approaching a pass from trail, there was a steep descent for the final part. We started seeing day hikers not really prepared for the conditions above tree line. Many just had shorts and a t-shirt. Good luck with that cold wind up there!
There is a large parking lot at the pass as there are several trails available and is used in winter as well. However, you must cross a busy four lane highway to get to the lot and there is no light or crosswalk. It’s just odd for such a popular place.
We got a quick hitch that fulfilled a wish of mine; a hitch in the back of a pickup truck! He was a young guy that apparently worked in construction. We pushed some stuff aside and climbed in the back for the curvy road down from the pass to Winter Park, a ski resort town.
We are staying at a hiker friendly place that has a couple of rooms in need of renovations they rent to hikers for a good rate. They also allow us to use the laundry and provide a space for us to air out our gear. It also happens to be near restaurants. Even though the grocery store is a a little ways off, they have a free bus system. Perfect. Time to calorie up. We plan on getting back on trail tomorrow afternoon for another relatively short segment to Grand Lake.