Day 66: 13k Twice in One Day!

Miles Hiked: 15.4

Total Milage: 1054.2

Location: Winter Park, CO

This morning I woke up in our awesome campsite to a great sunrise. None of my things got wet from dew last night which was awesome. I didn’t sleep well and I had a headache when I woke up. The first thing we did today was climb James Peak which looked so intimidating and steep from where we were camped. The trail went along the edge of the mountain with a steep drop off on one side. At one point we had to climb up and over some rocks to get around the snow and it was pretty freaky to me. One slip and I’d most likely fall off the whole Mountain. Eventually we got to a safer spot in the climb and my stomach was cramping up so much. I took the climb very slow just because I was in so much pain. At the top I enjoyed some Skittles and the view before we started descending. On the descent I was getting so many side stitches. I knew that something was wrong. I must not have packed our enough electrolytes. 12 pack gave me some Gatorade drink mix packets for the rest of the day which helped a lot because I ended up cramping on and off for the rest of the day. We had to descend 3k feet back down into the valley before re ascending back up to 13k on Mount Flora.

At the bottom of the valley I made some mashed potatoes to fuel me for the long climb back up. There were lots of very nice switch backs on the climb which made the hiking go by fast for me. Ocasionally we would run in to patches of snow but they were no big deal. I grabbed some water at the last stream I could and I saw the trail in view zig zagging up the side of the mountain. It looked like snow was across the trail in some steel patches. It looked sketchy enough that I got my microspikes out so I could be prepared to use them if needed. When we got up to the snow patches they were not as bad as they looked. We were about to walk across them without any snow aid. We just cut some steps into the snow. The rest of the way up to mount Flora we were on an amazing trail! Trail builders laid most of the rocks down very flat so we had almost a sidewalk to hike up on. Sometimes it was hard to see where the trail went because we were in so many rocks but it was definitely the easiest climb I’ve ever had up to 13k feet. The top of Mount Flora was awesome. In-between mount Flora and James Peak I ended up turning all the small holes in my shoe into one giant hole by accident. My toe grazed a rock and my shoe just ripped. All of my toes were able to pop out of my shoe at once. I was essentially wearing a sandal. I knew I’d had to leave the next town with new shoes no matter what because the tape I used to attempt to fix them wasn’t doing anything.

12 pack and I descended the 3 miles down to highway 40 at Berthoud pass very quickly. When we got to the parking lot we put our thumbs out to try and get a hitch. We were waiting for quite a while. Luckily it gave our friend hummingbird time to catch up to us and right when she got to the bottom another family who was out hiking offered us a ride in to town. The family was from Indiana and one of them just got married on top of a mountain. They were so interested in our hike. They had never heard of the CDT before.

When we got to town we were dropped off at Safeway to resupply. A girl I know from Instagram named Alicia lives in the area and I had been asking her about some trail beta the last couple of days. I also asked her the best place to find new shoes in town and she literally had a new pair for me! They were the same size and brand I wear which can be really hard to find sometimes. She had tried to wear them before and really didn’t like them so they were just sitting around not getting used. She let me have them for free! What a life saver. She met us at Safeway and offered us a place to stay for the night and to cook us dinner! She took us all to her house where we got showers, ate some hotdogs and salad for dinner, relaxed, and played with her dogs. It was so nice to be in someone’s home. I miss having a home sometimes. Waking up in a new place everyday can be exhausting. Thank you so much Alicia and Johnny for taking care of us!

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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