The Routt

8/24 – 8/27 Colorado started off hot and sunny. All the CDT SoBos talk about how cold Colorado was but we were burning up, swimming in lakes and eager for the wind to cool us off as we hiked through the Routt National Forest.  We saw a mix of scenery – alpine meadows and berry-filled valleys – as we headed towards Hwy 40 where we hitch hiked (in a new hummer!) into Steamboat Springs, a ski resort town, on 8/26.  Crossing the Wyoming/Colorado border there hadn’t been a dramatic difference, but now, going into a town I was hit with some massive culture shock. Almost every town we’d been to in the last 2 months had been small, struggling and the residence of old west “cowboys” – hardworking miners, ranchers and farmers who would head into the outdoors to hunt and fish, but not hike.  Many of the houses of the town residents looked like only slight improvements to the small, rustic log cabin ruins we spied from the trail.  But when were still miles off from Steamboat we began to see a different sort of “log cabins” scattered on the hillside. These “cabins” were several thousand square feet, boasted mighty walls of windows and elaborate decks and landscaping and three-car garages. In Steamboat everything seemed shiny and new. There were tons of young people and everyone was into the outdoors – hiking, biking, skiing, rock climbing… 

We felt rather self-conscious as we sat at the computers at the spacious and light-filled library and bought some lunch at the local health food store. Since we hadn’t seen any of the others in 6 days and the town was large and spread out, we wondered if we’d see them in town. But we shouldn’t have worried. We soon saw Myke walking down the street and he joined us at a table outside. Within a few hours, we’d seen the colourful rag-tag collection of other thru-hikers and they joined us, enjoying tasty food & beverages while swapping stories of our journey.  It turns out “Team Food Challenge” hadn’t left Rawlins till 7pm that day!  Boy was I was glad we’d left early!  Plus, even though we’d enjoyed the camaraderie of the other hikers, it had been very enjoyable hiking just as DnA. We gathered at some picnic tables around the back of Safeway and sorted out our food for the next section while Hawkeye, RT, Joker and Heaps did yet another food challenge…. I’ll spare you the details. They weren’t pretty.  By 7pm we were finally set to head back out to the trail… hitching wasn’t easy but after almost an hour a minivan picked us up. They’d just dropped off their son for his first year of college and were now headed back to Fort Collins. They were incredibly friendly and we regaled them with stories and facts about the CDT before they dropped us off in the fading light at Rabbit Ear’s Pass.

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2 thoughts on “The Routt

  1. Hey. GREAT meeting you both yesterday just outside Copper. I really appreacite you taking the time tell me some of your stories. I just read your blog. I remember reading about your fall a couple of months ago in someone else’s trail journal. Good luck getting out of Colorado quickly.
    Carl

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