Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 78 - Leaving Steamboat

The Yampa Valley curse traps people in Steamboat Springs. Supposedly it only affects white people, and was cast by the Native Americans years ago. As an Asian American, I thought I was immune, but I did enjoy my zero yesterday.

Today, Labor Day, meant we were getting back on the trail. After breakfast, Gangles and I went down to Lincoln Ave to hitch. This was our toughest hitch by far. We received mostly judgmental glares, indulgent smiles, and well-meaning but somehow condescending "good luck!", in that order. I certainly don't think we *deserve* a hitch. And honestly, I would think pretty hard about picking up a hitchhiker, unless I was driving along a long distance trail. But today was just plain tough.

I think there were too many tourists, in too much of a rush, with no idea of the CDT. So, we probably passed for run of the mill vagrants or possibly con women or something criminal. Finally, Mark pulled over and asked if we were hiking the trail. He's dating Sam I Am, a triple crowner who was out of town for a wedding. He recognized us as the hiker trash we are, and so generously drove us up to Muddy Pass. Mark's been getting the outdoors bug, and is working on all of the 14ers in CO. Plus, I think Sam I Am is working on getting him on a thruhike. Mark, if you're reading this, go! It'll be a blast. And, thanks to you and Sam I Am for getting us back to the trail!

We are trying to get to Grand Lake in a few days, so hiked as far as we could, given a noon start. We were carrying 3.5L of water each, expecting to find water at 16mi as marked on the J. Ley maps. When we arrived, the water was stagnant and fouled with cow pies. Rather than risk Giardia, we decided to risk it. We did meet a very nice hunter and his wife. He offered us a couple of liters of water, plus some homemade spaghetti and garlic bread. While he went to get the ziplocs, his wife confided that he did all the cooking, and that was the secret to 30 years of happy marriage. Plus, she doesn't nag him about going hunting or fishing.

Glad we finally escaped from the valley, but hope to get back to lovely Steamboat someday.

Big day tomorrow, so off to bed. Happy Labor Day everyone! All whites on mothballs starting at midnight.

Mileage: 18mi from Muddy Pass to Jct. w 700

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