Total trip miles: 1107.9
I'm pretty sure my roommate hates me. All I want to do is sleep but every hour or so I wake up with a coughing fit, I hear an annoyed sigh every so often but trust me I would kill to not be coughing. I forgot to go to the pharmacy aisle at the supermarket and am definitely regretting it. He takes off around 6 and I somehow manage to semi fall back asleep until 8:30, still making my grand total of sleep pretty pathetic. But hey I feel better than the day before.
I pack up and make some breakfast, all the other hikers are awake and we chat for awhile. I'm planning on leaving but it's hard to be motivated. This next stretch is supposed to be pretty tough and I'm just tired. We all talk about how great it is to know we're not alone, everyone I've talked to recently feels pretty beat down. First Man, Hot Tub and Coincidence are all taking a zero. I decide to stick with my plan and finally head out. I stop at the grocery store and buy cough and cold medicine, praying for it to help. I'm so tired of coughing. Then to the bus station and the awesome free bus back to the trail. I have a ton of climbing in store and with 6 days of food this is the heaviest my pack has been in awhile. The thunder is already rumbling but I'll be below treeline for about 20 miles, and since I don't hit the trail until noon I doubt I'll be making the 20 I had originally hoped for.
Looking down at Brekenridge
It pours for 2 hours and I walk in the bubble of my umbrella. My feet and trekking poles seem foreign. My shoes are so new and clean and my trekking poles look naked without their snow baskets. But I'm thrilled to no longer be rocking the lightning rod ice axe on my back.
I get a break from the rain and it's rolling climbs up mountains, trees and fields of wildflowers.
Then it's a beautiful 3 hours of rain free rolling climbs. I stop to chat with the CT hikers I meet, it's their first week on trail and they are all so stoked. Then I talk with a rad ultrarunner, she's sponsored by altra and we talk shoes, races, and the San Juans because why not? A group of mountain bikers fly down as I climb and their happy shouts echo down the canyon as they descend. I'm left with a shit eating grin on my face. Everyone I'm meeting is just so happy and it's gorgeous out. Despite starting to feel pretty beaten down I'm so happy to be hiking this afternoon.
My happy weather window ends near the bottom of my last climb. There are a ton of established looking campsites and a creek. I chat with all the CT hikers but push on. I'm back in my umbrella bubble and slowly start forward. I even load up a bit on water out of paranoia. It's technically a 20 mile dry stretch but I get nervous relying on seasonal mystery sources so my pack is extra heavy. It pours for a solid hour then it's just an on and off kind of thing where I'll see blue sky and the trees will rain on me making me constantly second guess the sky.
The logistics of this section are annoyingly complicated with so many stretches significantly above treeline. The weather will undoubtedly be lousy starting around noon everyday and I'll spend a solid hour in my tent tonight making plans that will probably be scrapped within a mile or two but I have to at least try for my own sanity. Happy but stressed to be out for sure.
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