6/9, day 44, 21.5 miles, 12,700 ft
Last night was quite windy. We were tired so it didn’t bother us.
As we started up the hill this morning we found the Colorado Trail. We followed it up the hill. At the top the Colorado Trail kept the trail, we started cross-country on a broad crest at 12,500 feet. We also had strong winds for the crest walk. Great views without a lot of climbing.
We ate lunch at Stony Pass. There were even 4WD pickups parked there. As we left 3 more pickups came slowly up the steep dirt road, Marcia asked one for a Pepsi – and got it.
A bit later we met 2 hikers with their 5 dogs. They told us of a short cut trail that kept us on the Divide and save us dropping and re-climbing 1000 feet. We decided to try it. We did okay, but underestimated how far we had hiked and dropped into the wrong side of the next valley. We spent some extra time trying to figure out where we were and where the trail was.
This afternoon as we sat down to drink our Gatorade, we noticed the sky was getting dark and we could smell smoke. The rest of the day we watched the smoke wishing we knew where it was coming from. It seems to be south of us.
Two milestones for today: we are on the Colorado Trail (again). We will follow it most of the way to Rocky Mtn Park.
Second is that we completed our westward trend, started north, then started east. Soon we will start north again for good.