Thank goodness we didn’t get eaten but a hoard of angry marmots or pikas last night. Our little perch on the old railway (there’s no tracks, just the cleared path) ended up being great spot, but with a steep hill on one side covered in lots of rocks you should always keep the marmot spray at the ready 😉
We walk along the track for a while, reading the signs about the history of the track as we go. As we descend to hancock trailhead we see a giant sign “Colorado Trail 2016”. Oooo magic maybe?
We follow the road and there are a whole bunch of giant tents and cars, and one huge tent set up with a bbq and a stack of tools. It’s a work party for the Colorado Trail volunteers – they are breaking new trail here so that the CT doesn’t follow the jeep road. What an awesome community!
We hike up the rocky road and I fantasize about Willy Wonka doing trail maintenance “That’s not rocky road, THIS is rocky road!”.
We arrive up at a lake surrounded by very moose-y looking willow. Still no moose sightings though. Boooo!
Up over a mini pass and down through some big boulders, this new land we’re dropping into is gorgeous. Down through thick green growth past a beautiful stream, and straight into mosquitoville. We bump into a couple with a dog that we stand and chat to for a while; meanwhile all the inhabitants of mosquitoville are attached to my legs. I try to politely leave the conversation many many times and finally we hike away from the shady spot and start whacking my legs and looking at the thousands of tiny welts all over me. I spray some of the tiny bottle of poison (DEET) on me but way too late.
Down the road we go, pass some very cool cabins, when around the corner comes something strange. “Llamas!” exclaims Grizzly. “Llamas!!!” I say. These llamas are owned by a couple who take elderly, and disabled people out camping. The llamas have little saddlebags they carry, and I get to pat them on their necks.
Finally at monarch pass we get a hitch into Salida and find ourselves a room. We’re so hungry but need to do laundry, so we order pizza to be delivered to the room while we hide out in our raingear, watching Juno on tv.
Once clean we lazily get a taxi the 2 miles to downtown to get to the gear store before it closes. Grizzly needs new socks as his injinis all have holes in them – awesome socks and perfect for desert hiking but they wear out waaay too fast.
Next door there is a bar with an airstream in the beer garden that has been converted into a bar. I drink a cider and enjoy the live acoustic music in the humid air. Down the road people are floating in the river on tubes or standing and sitting on the banks chatting. Hot and lazy. It’s amazing.
I love this town. I love this airstream bar.
At the safeway we buy a bunch more food to eat tonight. We’re still not getting enough food in this section. I can see Grizzly getting thinner, and he has started calling me Stegosaurus because my spine is too spiney through my shirt. Must eat everything!
Back in the room we each consume a “serves 4” Amy’s brand red curry and a pint of (almond milk) icecream. That’s a fair effort on the calorie front! Finally it’s sleepy time and we doze off watching more random things on tv and staring at the random bits of news on our tiny screens.
Goodnight my new favourite Colorado town!