9/11 – That morning we got all packed up, said goodbye to our little green cottage and met up with “Team Food Challenge” outside the post office. We spent the day catching up with RT, Kombucha, Hawkeye, Heaps and Joker and swapping stories of our adventures since Grand Lake. Apparently they’d been quite cold during the last section, which surprised us as the weather had been fairly temperate for us. It’s amazing the difference just a few days can make when it comes to the weather.
We were also aghast to discover that the rumors we’d heard about Joker getting off trail were true. Apparently Joker was running low on funds and even though he might have been able to finish the trail it would have been risky. Plus, his old job as a cook at a restaurant had opened up so it was an opportunity difficult to turn down. Still, we were sad and surprised to hear now Joker would now only be a CDT “Section Hiker”. Tomorrow he’d catch the Greyhound back north to Bellingham, Washington.
We joined in the evening goodbye festivities at the Circle R Motel before hitching back….. not to the trail unfortunately but just to the next town, Poncha Springs. Evening fell and still no one had picked us up so we were forced to stealth camp between a closed store and a 16 wheeler up on blocks. We restlessly “slept” to the barking of the entire town’s dogs, interspersed with a man yelling obscenities from his front porch. Thankfully none of the dogs ever pounced on us and we made it through the night. Oh the joys of being a vagabond!