Quick update from Silverton and mile 800+!

Sorry for the lag time! I have a backlog of posts waiting to load when we next have reliable internet access and a little down time.

In brief:
We took a combo road walk and lower elevation trail route to go from Cumbres Pass to Wolf Creek Pass in 3.5 days. Worked great.

We then joined Smudge and Groceries for a four-day detour to Mesa Verde NP and Mancos, CO. Wonderful friends and truly thrilling to learn more about the cliff dwelling Ancestral Pubelboan. And relax in a beautiful setting where we watched the sunset over a mesa filled skyline every night on a lovely front porch.

Then back to the CDT for five days from Wolf Creek Pass to Stony Pass. 77+miles. Trail. Snow. More snow. Hail. Lighting. Falling trees. White outs. Blizzard. (And that was just the first day.) The other four days were beautiful and challenging. High alpine country above 12,000 feet. The trials and joys of continental snow (mixed consistency). Wet marsh walking. Five minutes to cover 100 feet due to snow conditions.  Gorgeous wildflowers. Golden meadows. Picas barking. Marmots whistling. Moon rise over peaks in alpin glow. Elk on ridged. Mountain magic.

We made it to Stony Pass last night around 8:35. Camped at 12,640 feet. This morning we walked the 9 miles into Silverton. We were in awe of the plowed road (@ 12,000′!), the old mining infrastructure, the busy tourism bustle, and charming historic town nestled in the valley confluence of so many mountains. It reminded us of the landscape around, Marblemount or Newhalem, only with a prosperous little village with more and bigger mountains rising high above in all directions.

Within seconds of getting into Silverton,  I couldn’t resist stopping at the visitor center for USFS and BLM. Yes, confirming I am addicted to interpretive info. Field guides. Historic accounts. So much information I want to upload to my brain! Fortunately we met Charlie in visitor center. He is a wealth of information and stories! And he very, very, VERY generously offeredus to give us a ride back up the 9 miles and 3,000 feet to Stony Pass!  Wow! We are incredibly grateful!

So tomorrow we start what could be a 2-day or 4-day leg to Spring Creek Pass and Lake City. All depends on the snow. Not many hikers are on this route currently, so there’s little beta. When we get to Lake City, I should be able to backfill the blog. So many beautiful places to share. Thoughts I want to document for when I tab through this journal months and years from now.

Lastly, a special thanks and acknowledgement for the trail magic and generosity we have experienced of late. Thank you to: Marsha and Arlo of West Virginia for the ride to PS; to Sleeping Bare and Nugio for wearing dual hiker/trail angel hats and giving us rides to passes; to the proprietor of the PS RV Park for the much needed water; to Smudge and Groceries for a fantastic detour to Mesa Verde; to Lucy for being an excellent therapy dog; and to Charlie for the offer of a ride up to Stony Pass. It is uplifting to meet such wonderful people. A reminder to take a risk and give moreand to others, even complete strangers. Thinking about these people and their deeds is one of the most moving and faith renewing aspects of trail life.

800+ miles walked. More from LC in a few days!