16.1 miles hiked
Camping at 159.3 @ 11096ft
We potter around the hostel doing all our chores, arranging and rearranging our things until at last our packs are clipped shut and we head out.
We grab coffee and hot cider, then walk a couple of miles to the safeway to get some more food to get us to twin lakes. I’m over the moon to discover they have instant refried beans! These are usually found in bulk food co-ops, and I found some in Walmart in Grants but haven’t had them since. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but somehow the salty goodness is perfection out here. I grab an avocado to join in with the refried beans on my rice crackers and am very excited for lunch time. Om nom nom.
We squeeze into the back of a truck with a girl in her way to work and arrive at the trailhead at the same time as Marty who we’ve been seeing for the past few days on trail. We pass on a message to a lady (Sparky) we see at the trailhead – we passed her in camp yesterday afternoon and saw that her sister left a message for her on the facebook group to give her a hug if we see her. Message delivered!
Up up up we climb through pines trees and past streams with the sun beating down.
We enter the Holy Cross wilderness and it is stunning! Beautiful lush meadows, bursts of colourful wildflowers, streams running through and of course snow capped mountains on every side.
We eat lunch staring out into the meadow and slapping at our legs, arms, faces as the mosquitos have come out and are eating their lunch too – us!
One last climb before dinner and it’s a steep one! I listen to my audiobook to distract me from my gasping breathing and enjoy the climb. The trees thin out as I near the top, giving way to giant boulders and pale sandy ground. I can see patches of blue sky now and finally arrive at a dirt road, then the top.
There’s a view back to the turquoise lake below, a tiny town can be see in the distance. I run around to scare off the mozzies and dive into the tent in the tiny spot we have procured between 2 boulders. Freestanding tents with small footprints have their advantages!
Giant powerlines are buzzing in the distance, mozzies are buzzing next to the tent, and just as I’m drifting off Grizzly starts buzz sawing next to me. *SNORE!!!* Earplugs in, it’s sleepy time now.