Twig Adventures

SOBO Day 79: Lake City

September 11th, 2019 Creede Junction mm 2021.3 to HWY 149 mm 2035.6 Distance in miles: 14.3 0620-1200 I wake with a migraine and the wind is howling…not a great start. But it’s not freezing or raining, so that’s good! It’s going to be a tough go over the exposed passes and snow mesa but we can do it. Last time, hail and lightning thwarted me and my trail family from continuing on in this section. We had to retreat down to Creede and since there was no accommodation there, we went to Lake City, missing 14 miles of trail. I’m determined to hike them today, even if the weather isn’t perfect. The San Juans rarely have perfect weather…you just have[…]

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SOBO Day 78: San Luis Peak

September 10th, 2019 Monchego Creek mm 1994.5 to Creede Junction mm 2021.3 Distance in miles: 26.8 plus 3 RT to San Luis Peak 0620-1800 Coyotes again make a racket through the night, probably fighting over dibs on the dead cow. Their yips and yaps become a part of my dreams…white noise of the high hills. I should make one of those relaxation tapes out of it. In the early morning, I hear the soothing hoots of a great horned owl. I was just saying to Relentless the morning before that the woods are lacking any owls. Here’s the reply to my concern. They must like lower elevations. The morning is fresh and beautiful, the low light enhancing the yellow flowers[…]

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SOBO Day 77: Miles & Smiles

September 9th, 2019 Mm 1960.3 to Monchego Creek mm 1994.5 Distance in miles: 34.2 0610-1830 The elk call all night and there are also some coyotes making a racket so close for the longest time. While half asleep, I mumble something about them shutting up and they actually do, as if they were close enough to hear me. But it’s a very peaceful night overall and I wake excited to hike. I hope to do a big day to be well positioned for taking on the start of the San Juans the following day. We start out in the very first light, now so late that I still need my headlamp at 6 am. We walk through more meadows at[…]

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SOBO Day 76: Into the Cochetopa Hills

September 8th, 2019 Monarch Pass mm 1935.8 to mm 1960.3 Distance in miles: 24.5 1000-1900 It’s time to get back on the trail. I think 3 days off was maybe too much. My parents drive us up to the pass in the morning and we all say goodbye again. It hurts much less to part with them this time, knowing things are going well at home. I will see them again soon. We head down the trail and for awhile, I’m in a funk. I feel sick from the car ride and somehow also a bit dizzy. How could I loose my fitness for the trail so quickly? I’ve felt better doing back to back to back 30’s than I[…]

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SOBO Days 73-75: Time Off at Home

It’s not often that I get to take a zero along the trail that coincides with being home. As a result, we end up staying a whole 3 days! I had only planned for 2 but it’s too easy when you have a free place to stay and lots of food to eat. Also, it’s good to spend time with my parents. If you’ve followed this blog since the beginning, you’ll recall that my hike nearly ended when my dad was diagnosed with melanoma cancer that had spread throughout his body. The prognosis was grim but he decided to try a new immunology treatment, which has resulted in his cancer going into remission. When I see him now, just 2[…]

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SOBO Day 72: Monarch Pass, the Easy Way

September 4th, 2019 Abandoned Cabin mm 1923.8 to Monarch Pass mm 1935.8 Distance in miles: 12 plus about 3 on a road-walk detour 0715-1400 I wonder all night if it’s going to be possible to hike on the divide in this weather. We can walk out to the highway on a jeep trail if it’s too bad, saving a 12 mile stretch for when we come back. We get a late start, lingering in the protection of the cabin. But there are blue skies when we step out, so it makes sense to walk all the way to Monarch Pass thismorning. Except that we miss the turn from the jeep road up to Boss Lake and walk most of the[…]

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SOBO Day 71: Serendipity & the Infinite Bliss

September 3rd, 2019 Cottonwood Pass mm 1894.1 to Abandoned Cabin mm 1923.8 Distance in miles: 29.7 0620-1840 We did a big day yesterday, meeting our mileage goal. I sleep very well as a result, even though we are camped at 12,000′ with little cover and next to a highway. The weather couldn’t be better and I’m shocked at how comfortable it is at this elevation. I have been so much warmer than I was on the Colorado Trail, even though it is a month and half later in the season. This is the best time of the year to be hiking in Colorado. We start up the trail and are immediately hiking along the divide as the sun rises. For[…]

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SOBO Day 70: I Love the Collegiate West

September 2nd, 2019 Hope Pass Lake mm 1865.3 to Cottonwood Pass mm 1894.1 Distance in Miles: 28.8 0620-1840 I wake up so happy to be starting this stretch. I hiked it as a section a week after completing the Colorado Trail. There is another route that goes around the eastern flanks of the Collegiate Range, but I didn’t care for that much. This route is so much more beautiful…one of the best trails I have ever hiked. Today the trail goes up over Hope Pass, past the valley below Mt. Huron, then up over Lake Ann Pass. It then winds along the western flanks of the 3 Apostles and into the Texas Creek valley, climbing up to Cottonwood Pass. The[…]

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SOBO Day 69: Mt Massive & Twin Lakes

September 1st, 2019 Willow Creek mm 1841.8 to Hope Pass Lake mm 1865.3 Distance in miles: about 16 plus 8 RT on Mt. Massive…24 0550-1915 I am awakened at 3 am in the morning by people walking by, on their way up the peak. It’s Sunday on a holiday weekend, so I expected this. The same thing happened when I camped at the base of Mt. Elbert on the Colorado Trail. We opted to climb that mountain because it is the tallest peak in Colorado and the timing worked out better. I decided awhile ago that I would climb Mt. Massive this time around. Some tough CT/ CDT hikers, like Stellar, do both. I am happy just doing one at[…]

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SOBO Day 68: Staging

August 31st, 2019 Tennessee Pass trailhead and Hwy 24 mm 1818.7 to Willow Creek mm 2841.8 Distance in miles: 23.1 1200-1950 I drag my feet getting out of town. There are the usual distractions like food and people to talk to. One lady is hiking the CT but says she never wants to do another thru-hike again. She just isn’t into it. I kind of wish I had her problem. I have the opposite dillema. We have to walk outside of town to a junction to get a ride but once we are there, a guy with a bunch of kayaks and a bike pulls over for us right away. You can usually count on vehicles that are covered with[…]

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