16.6 miles hiked, staying in Lake City
The vampires got me. The flying mosquito vampires have taken all my blood and my silly body hasn’t figured out it needs to produce more to keep me moving up here at altitude. Yesterday when we crossed over the pass we entered the San Juan mountains, which look to me like big sleeping giants curved around forming peaks and valleys, covered in a soft green fur. The trail is very skinny so looking back up at San Luis peak makes me dizzy and feel tiny tiny tiny.
We have 4 climbs today before we get into town. 2 big steep ones, 1 little steep one and 1 less steep but looooong one that heads over an exposed mesa.
I’m so very tired right now – sleeping at such high elevation is rough and I don’t think my body rested well. I feel as though I’ve just finished a massive set of lunges or squats. With just a couple of steps my legs are feeling burning and shakey. As always I just have to take it 1 step at a time – there’s only one way to get into town and get a rest!
It’s beautiful scenery and I’m going slowly. We stop at the top for a few minutes of each climb, at the bottom for a few minutes less. I don’t even know what I’m thinking about today – thinking takes too much energy.
3 climbs down before the clouds start congregating and inevitably exploding on us. There’s thunder but it luckily seems to be skirting either side of us. Finally we’ve finished all the climbing and all that’s left is the mesa. Big flat expanse of grass and scattered flowers, with giant storm clouds right in front of us. Zoom zoom as fast as I can go. I love the big wide open space here- it would be cool to camp on but the clouds are booming and town is calling! It’s sprinkling but nothing crazy and amazingly I make it to the bottom of the hill to the road where two other hikers are trying to hitch in as well. There’s not much traffic at all, until a giant car pulls over and beckons the four of us at the trailhead over. Just then it starts to pour. Absolutely buckets down. These amazing people in their giant car are angels! It turns out they are CT hikers who had to get off trail due to illness, so they and their giant dog are doing trail magic runs for a couple of days. Awesome people!
It’s beautiful scenery surrounding Lake City; the town is plonked in a valley with mountains all around. We find some bunks at the hostel which is filled with hikers, shower, don some strange loaner clothes, then wander down the end of the road to do laundry and buy our food resupply.
Yay for rest and awesome hiker people to hang with. I eat a can of soup and a pint of icecream and chat around the big table in the hostel with the other CT hikers. Yay for trail community! So many have been hiking right around us but we’ve never met – it’s amazing how you can hike the same pace as someone for weeks and not cross paths.
I say my prayers of thanks to the gods of earplugs and pass out fast. I will sleep haaaard tonight.