9/7 – 9/9 – The next section, from Twin Lakes to Salida, was one of the hardest yet. Being with Claire & Casey had been so much fun and we missed their company. Now that we were back to carrying our full packs they seemed absurdly heavy. Our trail food lacked luster, we craved Claire’s homebaked goodies. We also have definitive evidence that the women who runs the store at Twin Lakes SELLS things that we gave her to be part of a FREE hiker box (a box of goodies that hikers leave/take items they want/don’t want).
Dan enjoyed walking part of the Leadville 100 route – a 100 mile ultra run that leaves from the town of Leadville and then goes past Twin Lakes and up to Hope Pass. Walking only 25 miles of that trail was exhausting…. to run it + 75 more miles is insanity. But Dan’s hoping to run the Leadville Ultra in 2012.
Lows included two days of rain, getting a bad cold, blah scenery up and down through the trees. Highs included passing through the historic “town” of Winfeld, seeing the first aspen turn the hillsides buttercup yellow, seeing the first frosting of fresh snow on the highest peaks and standing above little meringue clouds at Lake Ann Pass.
Even though we’d passed through quite a few towns, our last Zero Day (where we did zero trail miles) had been back in Lander, Wyoming. That was a looooooong time ago. In short, we were utterly physically and emotionally spent when we finally arrived at Monarch Pass on 9/9 to hitch into Salida.