Colorado Trail Collegiate Loop 2019 Day One.

~10 miles.

I spent the night with my parents in South Fork, Co. After a tasty breakfast I headed a couple hours away to Monarch to drop off my food box. From there I headed up to Avalanche trailhead and Cottonwood Pass to drop off food caches. The newly paved road was fantastic up there. I got to Twin Lakes and headed off hiking right at 12 noon.

A little over a half an hour later I made it to the start of the loop. The next hour was uphill and tiring. I finally stopped to grab some calories and bounced back. I crested the top and hiked downhill for a few miles to a stream about 3pm where I went to make some Gatorade.. and found my bottle had gotten mold in it in just the last few days. I filled it with river pebbles and shook it to scrub it out. I rinsed it and put a purification tab in there to kill any residue. I found some trail magic, though it wasn’t for me. Someone had left a beer by the creek. I left it for the next hikers. I busted out my chair.. the Helinox Zero.. new for this trip and sat back in the shade. I’m certainly not lightweight this time.. but I may be out here for two weeks so I choose to bring some comfort items.

I headed up another mile of uphill that wasn’t as bad ask thought, then on down 2 more into the valley. The trail snaked right through a camp ground with some boondocking campers. At the creek, I tried out another gadget I made… using a usb powered mini Aquarium pump and my sawyer squeeze filter all plumbed up with some other filter fittings I had, I can filter water without having to do anything but let it run. Definitely worth the weight thus far. This lets me eat or do other things while water filters.

I hiked just up the hill and setup camp. I have almost no cell signal but I was able to make a couple phone calls including one to my son who told me all about his day and how they used my pickup truck to go get lots of mulch. He was excited.

I’ve got dinner soaking and I’m kicked back in my chair. Life is good.

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