Yurt to Spring Creek Pass: 8.5 miles
Total miles: 828.6
There had been talk of waking up around 6am amongst the group of us in the yurt. With four people in bunks, and the other five covering most of the floor space, we all kind of needed to be in agreement. If one started moving around, it would be near impossible not to disrupt the rest. I woke up around 5:30, and waited a few minutes wishing 6 to come quickly. Fortunately, Sidupchuck who was closest to the door sat up and decided to start the wake-up process. Like dominoes, his actions set off a chain reaction, and soon everyone was up and packing up their bags. We ate breakfast, then started off to Spring Creek Pass where we planned to hitch into town.
The nearly nine miles went quickly, and we made it to the pass in about three hours. The ground was covered with a light dusting of snow, but the day warmed up quickly. I had found a permanent marker at the yurt, and use it to make a sign to help hitch into town on the back of my sleeping mat. We tried to hitch for about 20 minutes, but with little traffic we didn’t have any luck. A van came up from town dropping off a hiker, and the woman driving offered to give us a ride back into town.
We hopped in, and she drove the 18 miles downhill to Lake City. I didn’t get her name, but I did get her pets’ names: Zeus an older black lab mix, and Jack a one-year old long haired cat. Jack was a little freaked out by the extra company, but settled down quickly. He jumped into my lap, and his owner informed me I should probably close my window. I had a moment of panic that I was about to loose this woman’s cat, but we got the window up in time and Jack seemed content to stay inside the van.
She dropped us off in town at Confluence, a breakfast place, and we had a late-second breakfast/early-lunch. Lake City is about a mile long, and we found a small cabin in the center for a reasonable rate. We were able to check-in when we arrived, and quickly went into our routine of showering and getting our laundry done. With clean clothes, we hit the town to do some errands. Garrett’s sunglasses broke when we arrived in town, and mine were badly scratched, so we headed to the outfitter to find new pairs. We found some, and picked up some chapstick, too! We had both run out on this section, and with the sun and wind our lips were in desperate need of some. I also bought some praline chocolate fudge, because, well, I didn’t really NEED it, but it sure was delicious.
We spent the rest of our afternoon prepping for the next section, and sorting out our food from box we’d sent ourselves. We arrived in town earlier than expected, and sent an extra days worth of food to town, so we sent another box up of extra food to our next town stop. I also sent up my ice axe and microspikes, as we heard that the next section was nearly free of snow.
With chores done, we noshed on pulled pork and smoked sausage at the BBQ place in town. Lake City has a lot of tourists from Texas, and being inside the restaurant made us feel like we were in Texas instead of Colorado with all the “y’alls” and Texas drawls floating through the air.
Back to our cabin we caught up on Being Serena on HBO. The show documents the birth of her daughter, and her training to return to the top ranks in professional tennis while juggling motherhood. I highly recommend it; regardless if you’ve ever lifted a tennis racquet or had a child. It’s expertly produced, is a great story, and inspires. Also, being pregnant, I think I cried through most of the baby scenes, and it may touch me a bit more than those not currently expecting! While professional tennis and long distance hiking are two very different worlds, it’s easy to draw parallels. We probably stayed up 30 minutes too late watching it (we stayed up until 9pm!), but it was certainly worth it!