Day 60: Monarch Pass to a yet to be determined destination
Morning in Salida. Gray. Overcast. Our first cloudy morning in Colorado. Most mornings are bright blue and crisp with golden sunshine melting away the frost. How fitting for the first day of summer. It feels more like home in the Pacific Northwest.
At the recommendation of Jodi from Shallots, I’m enjoying some time at a local bakery with gigantic raspberry oat bars. What can I say? I am a sucker for bakeries and interpretive signs. Must stop at all of them whose path I cross. This bakery, Sweeties, has excellent coffee, breakfast burritos, and the berry bar…? I’ll try out up on the trail this afternoon.
Salida is a former railroad town turned tourist destination with its access to skiing, water sports, and motorized access to high elevations. A mix characteristic of the West. Cowboy boots with ropers and Patagonia plaid shirts. Carharts and suspenders worn genuinely, not by an ironic hipster. Pugs in the front seats of Silverados. Hardware store employees making deliveries via bicycle. People say good morning to you as you walk down the street.
In the bakery, the conversations of locals and tourists are a mix. What are snow conditions up high? Estimates of business for this season. Plans for the next beer fest. Deciding whether to take the Beemer to meet up for the horseback riding session.
Locals are relaxed, sometimes a little rough around the edges. Tourists are perfectly manicured and seem in a hurry. As hikers, we seem to fit in more with the locals. They know about the CDT and are friendly to us often smelly, somewhat scruffy trail folk. Most tourists look at us and wonder how can a homeless person afford to buy so much food at a bakery, a restaurant or where have you.
I find I am enjoying aspects of every town along the trail. People. Food. Drink. The general vibe. Attraction of aesthetic outdoor destinations. Maybe it’s the small town community feel where folks know their neighbors and that everyone depends on one another to get by.
There is something to love about every mile and trail stop along the CDT.
Time to head back up to the trail.
Photos and the backlog of blog entries to come in another 120+ miles.