Heidenreich & Gass: CDT Thru-Hikers

Trail Dispatch: Week 8

June 16, 2000—Day 55—Telluride, Colorado —Sarah and Adrianne here in Telluride, just in time for the bluegrass festival and the hordes of festival goers. We hitch-hiked here from Spring Creek Pass to visit a friend for a couple of days and take a rest while working to increase our body-fat percentage—so far we have been quite successful.

From Wolf Creek Pass we continued on in the high counrty. We spent a day playing mountaineers, holed up in our tent waiting out a hail and lightning storm while divining our future by playing MASH. As it turns out, Sarah is destined to be a Mad Hatter in the Yukon.

The cold front that brought the storm also brought some cold weather. This helped increase our appetites to full-fledged piglet status. We began eating so much that we had to go down from the trail early to get extra food to finish. This landed us at Thirty Mile Campground, where the super-helpful manager drove us into the old mining town of Creede to get food and shoes for Sarah.

Overall, this stint was amazing. We were around 10,000 to 11,000 feet most of the time—it actually felt like we were backpacking. It's incredible to be so high up amidst the clouds, in the winds, with the marmots and the elk and out of breath from the altitude. In fact we are much more surprised to see people than elk.

Once as we were traversing a steep slope we were startled by two colorful people on a trail below us. Unfortunately, at that point we were teetering on the bottom edge of a snow field and with each step we sent talus pebbles cascading their way. This was not the most successful means of initiating conversation with the first people we had seen in days, and little more than hellos were exchanged.


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