We had a nice breakfast and my parents dropped me off and Chalk Creek about 745. I got hiking up 1000 feet in 1.4 miles. My lungs are finally getting used to it, didn’t need to pause to rest. I just took it slow and moderate. I passed down into the high desert and then back up another climb. I ran into an older couple who were hiking from Monarch to Leadville. They were not in particularly good shape but were really hiking well. I stopped to splash water on my arms and hat and some horses joined from a side trail. I kept up till they passed off to their trail again. I guess the horses weren’t as acclimated as me. That’s saying something. I ran into a few other day hikers on cross trails. About noon stopped for my tortillas and Gatorade. Around 1 I crossed paths with a young trail runner who said she was running from Durango to Denver. She could go light because she had a support team picking her up at trailheads. What the life!
There were a lot of climbs today. If I would dip down, I’d go right back up. Steep steep ups out of creeks and such. A mountain biker that came by was dragging his bike up. I ate a snack again about two since food had been only lasting me about two hours. From then on out I was dragging. I made my mileage quota for the day about 300 and found a great camp spot about 315. I would have liked to go on down the hill but I just wasn’t feeling it. As I type this a storm is coming, I have the tent up, and cell signal, a creek nearby and water filtered. Couldn’t ask for much more.
As I cooked dinner a bikepacker came by I saw yesterday in the hot springs store. He is only gonna camp a couple miles down the trail tonight so I might see him again.