Somewhere close to mile 1100 and day 68. As our new shoes would have it, we ended up in Silverthorne, CO. We’re hanging out in the lobby of the La Quinta Inn getting ready to leave for our next leg to Grand Lake. (For all those This American Life listeners, we picked La Quinta based on Mike Birgilia’s story, Sleepwalk With Me. :-D)
One logistical note: I’m almost halfway through the process of getting our photos for the last 400 miles posted to this blog. Should have our new wifi card by Steamboat. Oh technology…
In the meantime, here is a moment from our last leg from Twin Lakes to here.
Kokomo Pass, 12,022 feet. The tundra in full bloom where it isn’t covered in snow. Purple sky pilots nodding in the wind. Alpine sunflowers, mountain candy tuft, violets, alpine forget me nots, phlox, anenomies, cinquefoil all in flower. The air fragrant with the sweet scent of bloom time.
We stop, briefly, to take it in. Put on warm gear, snacks, and pull out the ice axes. The climb up was mostly snow free, but the route now turns northward. Some traversing and then travel between trail, mud and snowfields. Marmots call out their short high pitched peep whistles (dialect of the Rockies), pikas bark nobley. Robins sing. And we speed along racing the wanning daylight to reach Searlie Pass. There by 7:00. Our day not done. We still need to descend the basin of snow, the forest filled with snow and find flat ground for camp.
We love travel during the hours of alpine glow. Great light. Gorgeous views. But we feel the urgency of this time of day, too. Get on dirt trail. Camp by dark. Otherwise stumble with the dim glow of lightweight headlamps.
Success. Camped by 8:30 in a grove of spruce with comfy duff. A 25 mile day that started with postholing and ended with poatholing in places with spectacular views. Gabriel notes that we have a lot if Type II fun on the CDT.
We’ve got about 84 miles to Grand Lake. Should be there around 7/2. Looking forward to seeing Rocky Mountain National Park!