Sooooo, just to summarise: we have travelled by Greyhound Bus (always an experience!) from Pagosa Springs in the South of Colorado to Dillon Lakes/Silverthorn in the middle of Colorado and started walking SOUTH on the CDT from there back towards Pagosa Springs to give the snow in the San Juan Mountains some more time to melt.
So after 3 days of following the trail SOUTH, we are now in Leadville – as the name suggests, this is an old mining town full of charm. However, just as in Silver City (New Mexico) we are sharing the town with hordes of bikers! This time we are witnessing a stage of an “Across the Rockies” road bike event. Staying in a lovely lush hostel with lots and lots of bikers!
The last three days have been easy in terms of trail finding as we are now on the same route as the “Colorado Trail” which is very VERY well marked and made. Still some snow as soon as we get above approx 10,500 feet and in the forests (of which there has been quite a lot – lodgepole pine). It’s been warmer, which means that instead of slipping around on top of the old snow, we post-hole into it – sometimes up to our hips which is very amusing to the onlooker. But the longest we’ve been thus entertained has been one morning (South of Copper Mountain) so it’s been ok.
But a lower elevation we are walking through lush green aspen and fresh flowers. Still very cold and night and ice on the tent most mornings. Because of that, our routine has changes quite a bit and we no longer get up early (it is just too cold) but tend to wait till the sun hits the tent at about 7:00. Instead we hike later – it is light till 20:45 (which, given that we are approaching the longest day of the year is still a pretty short day if one is – as we are – used to long Scottish summer days with hardly any darkness!).
Met fellow CDT hikers Ellie and Mike who have been going North , bypassing the San Juan’s. Very nice talking to nutters like ourselves. Happy trails to them!
Heading off tomorrow towards Salida, our next stop. Weather still unsettled and we’ve had some form of rain every day since leaving Silverthorn.