Day 4 on the Colorado Trail/CDT

6.5 miles + 4.3. 10.8 for the day.

We started off at 11,500 and headed up to 11,960 first thing. The views were amazing. And we were only 6.5 miles from the truck and our shuttle vehicles to he next segment. I didn’t eat much for breakfast as I was craving town food. I got some internet and blasted the blog and Facebook.

We got to Monarch Crest, loaded our packs in the truck and went into the visitors center for ice cream and soda. We jumped back on the truck and started our shuttle to Spring Creek. We got lunch in Lake City. I got a salad and a Philly cheesesteak. I tried not to overeat. At 2pm we headed up out of Spring Creek. A climb to up over 12k to the high plateau. We met 5 other hikers at the top around 330. Two of which we had met before.

After hiking 4.3 trail miles to good water we setup for the evening. And cell signal!

Day 3 on the Colorado Trail/CDT 15+ trail miles

I went down 0.6 round trip first thing to restock our water. Then left out of camp about 645. About 4.5 miles in we started a huge climb. 860 feet in 1.3 miles. On our way up we met a young couple going southbound. He looked ready to do their intended 20 miles for the day. She did not. Further up the hole we met a grey neared solo hiker going southbound.

After creating the hill and finding water Ken hiked on ahead while used a weak cell signal. I caught him again in the valley and we ate lunch about noon. The sky started to cloud up and we crossed paths with thru hiker Ian about 1:00. It sleeted/hailed/rained briefly after that. We come around the corner at marshal pass and interrupt a four wheel driver crouching down behind a bush. Once it was safe we moved on though. She looked at her phone as we went by and didn’t say anything. We stopped at the pit toilet a quarter mile down the trail. But I guess when you gotta go you gotta go.

A mile up the trail we filtered out water from a cold pipe spring and took a sponge bath a couple pools below. The next little bit we saw lots of dirt bikes.

Around 430 we stopped at the only shelter on the CT. We exchanged water info with a southbound hiker camping there for the night. And we headed on. It started to rain. We were at 11,500 and I knew we were headed to just under 12k and I didn’t want I be exposed in the open so we stopped to setup tents. As soon as we crawl inside the hail came down. Leaving a blanket of pea sized hail everywhere.

Day 2 on the Colorado Trail/CDT 14.4 miles

Day 2 on the Colorado Trail/CDT

14.4 miles

We started up the trail about 6:40

About 9am we ran into Bay Area hikers who had started at salida.

At around 930 stop for snack. Here we ran into Southbound thru hiker “Patch. Over the next several hours we ran into several other southbound thu hikers. The views at CDT mile marker 883 were amazing. The mountains in the distance beat any postcard. We continued on downhill. We picked up water at about 12 miles. At 2:30pm we ran into a couple Patch had told us were trailing her. She had said to watch for a woman and a man with an epic beard. It didn’t disappoint.

We continued further down, having dropped nearly 1500 feet and there was a wonderful flowing stream. As we headed uphill it started to lightly rain. So we found a couple flat spots not far off the trail and setup tents. We had over 14 trail miles for the day. But stopping at 4pm or so makes for a long long afternoon and evening around camp. I watched a movie on my phone as I made dinner and fell asleep far too early. Waking up at midnight on the dot.

Day 1 section hiking the Colorado Trail/CDT.

We left Texas on Friday evening and headed out for Colorado. Neither one of was very tired so one would sleep in the back while the other drove. This put us at Monarch pass before sunrise. We jumped in our second (towed) vehicle and headed to our first start point. We even got a little backcountry four wheel drive trails in on the way.

We got to highway 114 roughly 50 hiking miles from the other vehicle and get ready to go. Three people showed up and prepared to hike the other direction. We may run into them on the next leg.

We headed up the trail about 7:45am. We hiked along for a couple miles without incident before we missed our take off from a forest service road. By the time we hiked back we had wasted a mile and a half or better.

I am having the time of my life out here. It’s fantastic and the trail stays above 10,000 feet most of the time out here since it’s going along the continental divide in these sections. But this means water is little and far between. We asked a couple of southbound hikers if they had seen water at a certain creek and got mixed answers. We pressed on, needing water before nighttime. After 14 miles hiked… we got to Razor Creek and several other hikers had the same ideas we did. We filtered water with a couple nice young ladies from SC who have been out here a month today and gotten almost 300 miles of the trail so far. They press on for next 190 or so. Because of the direction we hike the next section after our shuttle we may run into them again. I was encouraging them to do a trail journal. It sounds like they are having a great adventure.

After filtering water we climbed the hill to the edge of the meadow and set up our tents. As far as other hikers, one tent is down way too close to the stream and other one is just being setup further on down the hill by a young couple.

As I finished up my dinner.. a little rain started falling and I crawled in my tent. I was asleep before I knew it.

Our upcoming trip on the Colorado Trail/Continental Divide

In a few days Kenny and I will be hiking where the CT and CDT run together between Monarch pass and Creed. Sections 15-21. Here’s a little nap of what we are doing. Cell service is nearly non existent so the daily blog may be delayed. I’ll pop in via satellite on Facebook until I can upload pictures. My Facebook.

Georgetown 11

We had a wonderful night for camping with a slight breeze. We took our time getting ready this morning and were on the trail at 7. We hiked for about 5 miles before taking a good snack break. While walking through a park along the lake we found tap water and got to refill bottles and make Gatorade. We headed on and as soon as we got near the dam.. with a couple miles to go to the car.. the sky opened up and it poured. We marched on across the dam and back to the car for 11 miles today. We changed clothes,  and now we are headed to town to find food. 

Lake Georgetown 13.3

We drive down to lake Georgetown this morning to hike the Goodwater Loop. Got started at 11am and cruised down the trail slowly. It was overcast and barely dripping rain at first. I enjoyed this, considering yesterday was 100 degrees. We hiked in about 4 miles and ate lunch at a nice sitting spot. The sky was starting clear by the time we took out next break around 7 or 8 miles. A dayhiker with trail running gear went past us shortly before we stopped, but we knew a shortcut around one dry cove on the lake.. so he ended up passing us again as we took our break. We got back on the trail and crossed the lake/river at Box crossing at around 10 miles. I judged I had enough water to make it to camp. I had frozen my bottles and added ice to my hydration bladder before I left the house this morning. With the sun out.. the cold water felt nice. 

As we started hiking again Kenny says “stop”. A good size (non poisonous) snake slithered off and we marched to some shade and took a cold drink break. We mosied on into camp around 6pm.. an easy 13 mile day. We set up tents and filtered water. Now I’m eating snacks as I wait for my food to hydrate. 

Dipping a toe into the NETT

I get a message from work saying I need to go to Greenville. Which isn’t far from farmersville.. where the Northeast Texas Trail starts. This trail will be 130+ miles when finished. It’s a rails to trails conversion. Many of the towns along the route are stepping up to the plate and making the effort to attract trail tourism. Farmersville is one of those towns. I finished up my work in Greenville and headed back west to Farmersville for what I do every day at lunch… hike or bike. I had the folding bike with me.. so I parked at the westernmost trailhead.. and headed east. The trail was paved or concrete the first couple miles.. then crushed rock. I road out about 3.6 miles and turned around to come back. A nice little ride on a 100 degree Texas day. The overall trail is still under construction. So a combination of biking and hiking over the next few months might be my best option. The NETT is popular with bike riders so far… I’m hoping to generate interest in hiking and push for better camping options. 

10 miles on a Sunday.

I slept last night in just my mesh house. It was relaxing looking up at the stars through the trees. I got up before the sun for breakfast and found a spider my my lines on the tree as I reached up to untie them. We got on the trail by 630. We moved along slowly knowing we had less than 10 trail miles to the truck. This section has very little water chances, but we saw a few puddles. Not the sort of section you want to hike later in the summer. As we got less than 4 miles from the car is started raining. But off in the direction we were hiking we could see the sun. The rain falling through the trees was pretty.. but soon the humidity and wet grass was broiling us. The rain stopped and We got to the truck around 1030 and did a little camp showering with water we had. We drove over to pick up the other vehicle and into Huntsville to get lunch. One veggie pizza later I was a happy man. I sipped on liquids all the way back home to the kids. I’m now unpacking the pack and enjoying my rockstar welcome from the kids.