Next time we’re going to the beach

August 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Molas Pass to Junction Creek Trailhead – 73.9 miles 6 days Total: 127.2 miles 11 days

More often than not the people that give us a ride from/back to the trail go out of their way to do so. The ride from Silverton was no exception. We’d been standing with our thumbs up on the outskirts of town for some time when a guy across the road called out: “He girls, you trying to get back to the CT?” “Yes!” “Come over.” He’d been doing some paint work at the visitor center across the road but was ready to take a break so he took us back to Molas Pass. By 2.30pm on day 6 we were back on the trail and managed to put in 8 miles before setting up camp.

The next day lunch break was exceptionally short as dark clouds were amassing ahead and grumbling ominously. It rained all afternoon. But nature seems more alive when it rains. It’s as if the animals are saying: “Let’s go out, it’s raining, there shouldn’t be any humans outside.” Well, not quite. We startled two deers.
By 4.30pm that day the tent was up. Three hikers, Aquaman, Homebrew and Lighthouse, joined us that night and the following ones. Lighthouse carried a guitar; he played and sang at camp. Music is so much sweeter in the middle of the woods.

Day 8 saw some more rain, and even a hail shower. We found a nice camp spot on the edge of a hill, just sheltered by the trees, with a great view. To the east some mountains were still lit up by the evening light while, over the forest spreading in the valleys below, we could see curtains of rain and lightning. There was thunder, and Lighthouse was playing and singing to the elements. One of those surreal moments.

On day 9 we crossed Indian Trail Ridge in a white mist, buffeted by the wind and soaked through by rain. When the view opened up again we were back in more mountainous terrain. Upon a stony cirque, we were looking down at the beautiful plateau where is nested Taylor Lake, our destination for the day.
We just had time to set up the tent that it started pouring rain. And it kept on and on, all night and the following morning. We were stuck in our little tent, that surprisingly still holds the water well after 5 months of intensive use, pondering our options: waiting it out – spend a whole day inside a tent? Not exactly my idea of a zero day… – or hiking on – yeah, can’t see how getting completely soaked is any better…
But by noon the rain had stopped, the wind had dried the tent and the sky had cleared enough that it looked safe to make a dash for a couple of miles down the trail.
The weather was gorgeous the rest of the day and the next, all the way to Durango.

Ah, Durango. Town. Shower, social media, laundry, food and beer. Not necessarily in that order. How did we do this for 5 months?

127.2 miles in 11 days. That makes an average of 11.6 miles per day. We hiked faster than we thought we would. Well, we dreamt of hour-long after lunch naps in the sun or mid-afternoon reading breaks, but that didn’t happen. We were cold, and what do you do when you’re outdoors and you’re cold? You just keep moving.

So yeah, next time we’re going somewhere warmer. Next time we’re going to the beach. Or not 😉

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