6/17, day 52, 12,535′, 10.5 mi.
After a chore filled town visit, several showers and lots of good food (grilled ahi tuna in CO!) we headed back to the trail on the divide, stopping at Garfield for our box. It wasn’t there, so back to Salida for more supplies. I knew maps were for sale at the trailhead, and we had everything we needed without much running around. We even met a commercial wildlife artist, Susan, from Leadville. Her house is on the divide & trail so she gave us her phone # so we can shower when we get there!
Our mountains are world-class sand piles at 12,000′ plus. Of course we headed right for the top. The alpine tundra covering the sand is sand-sized, a half inch tall and hugging the sand. The flowers are every color but so tiny I have to bend over to see them. Crossing over the saddle and going down we passed a string of lakes. The first was water sitting in rocks with no vegetation, strange looking. We gradually dropped below tree line, spent the night at Big Boss Lake and slept warmly.
This is supposed to be a picturesque area and I’m really enjoying it. Views are great with no smoke visible.