I wake after a deep hard sleep. I try to ignore the call of nature for as long as possible but give in and awkwardly crawl out of the small tent door and into a sunrise alpenglow wonderland. Best 2016 trail sunrise prize! I stare for a loong time until the reds and golds fade away off the mountain and the clear daylight takes over.
I pack and head off down the other side of the mountain. Gah so beautiful again today!
We come across a gorgeous meadow with something strange on the other side.
“What do you think that is? A person?” It’s standing very still. We continue hiking and get closer. “Is it just a rock?” Closer…it moves a little. “Is that a horse??” It’s a horse. In the middle of a meadow. In the middle of nowhere. We are very confused by this very still horse with no explanation, until we hike even further and see a big tent setup on the meadow’s edge. Ah!
We hike down down down through this magic part of the trail until finally we are in the little town of Silverton.
There are so many RVs, so many ATVs, so many people eating icecream and stopping in the middle of the footpath with 5 family members to chat about nothing while obliviously blocking the rest of the world from moving through.
We wait in the lobby of the hostel for the manager to arrive so we can check in, staring at our tiny screens and trying to get things to load so we can see what is happening in the world. She arrives, I hand over too much money for our little space for the night, we throw our packs in, search unsuccessfully for our boxes of food and head down the road to the post office to find them. The postal worker rolls her eyes and sighs. “She’s not supposed to do that. If she tells hikers you can post to her hostel, she should pick up the boxes”. We agree, especially as by lucky chance, we arrived at the post office just 10 minutes before they close.
Boxes of food and a shiny package from REI containing new shoes clutched in our dirty paws, we head back to the room, throw them inside with our packs, and head off in search of disatisfying food. One mediocre cheeseless pizza and half a beer later, I stumble back down the road as it becomes clear very quickly that I cannot hold any quantity of alcohol. Half a beer + altitude + hungry Snakebite = fast drunk. Embarrasing. Half! I have no words. Or actually I have many as I trot down the road in a beer-d haze.
Back at the room it’s time to de-stink with a shower, and we give our things to the hostel people to wash in their laundry. Then – nap time. Glorious nap time! Best nap of the trail – who knew the secret was just half a beer?
I wake sober and hungry and we go in search of some decent food. It’s Grizzly’s birthday tomorrow so hopefully something yum will appear! We have amazing luck with a restaurant on a side street away from the overly themed Western saloon rubbish. Delicious fresh veggie tacos, roasted beets, hand cut fries, amazing kale salad. This time I stick to lemonade, of which I drink about 3! Yuuuuum dinner!
With happy bellys we head back to the hostel on the now deserted street – most of the tourists come in on a steam train from Durango and the town clears out after the last train leaves. It’s like being in a theme park after it’s closed.
I curl up under the sheets (sheets!), pop my earplugs in and I’m off to the land of nod once again. Goodnight world!