Day 73: Surprise Visit!

Miles Hiked: 23.1

Total Milage: 1173.5

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and and quietly packed up to leave at 6am. Everyone else was awake and also packing when I left. I started the day by descending from Bear Lake. It was a nice couple of warm up miles to the bottom of the mountain before I started a climb. I saw a lot of tents set up near one of the trail heads. I have been seeing so many people lately! There are lots of Colorado Trail hikers, northbound CDT hikers, and weekend backpackers. I took a break before the climb and Free Fall passed me. At the top, I took a break with him at a view and 12 pack and Hummingbird caught up. I’m so eager to get to town but I feel so incredibly sore today I can’t hike fast if I wanted to. Every time I went up a climb, my legs would ache so much.

There were a couple more descents and climbs before getting to town. It feels like the trail finally has the challenging up and downs all day like the AT did. I passed by the mount Elbert trailhead. Mount Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado and the 2nd tallest in the lower 48. A lot of CDT hikers do some extra miles to get to the top but today I walked right by it. I climbed Mount Elbert last summer and my legs are screaming at me to stop hiking already. I wish I had that kind of extra energy in me but I just don’t at this point in my thru hike. I’m hoping I get a second wind of feeling stronger. Lately I feel so weak all the time.

We finally got to the highway around 4pm. My feet, knees, and quads felt absolutely destroyed. It’s definitely time for a rest day! We stuck out our thumbs and got a ride almost immediately. Two nice ladies picked us up and drove us straight to Leadville because they were driving through it. I was expecting this to be a two part hitch with a lot more waiting but we got very lucky! They dropped us off at the Post Office where I got to pick up a box my mom sent me. Unfortunately they did not have my Amazon package that my mom also sent because they don’t accept UPS packages. I was a bit frustrated because I was really looking forward to the things she sent me!

Before I got to the highway, I found out that my best friend Luke is coming to surprise me! I’m so happy to see him again because I miss him every day. Luckily I was able to give my hostel bunk to Hummingbird because he booked us a hotel! After the post office, I walked over to the hotel Luke chose. Everything in town is booked up and pretty expensive if it is available because of the demand. From my understanding there is some sort of race in Leadville this week. The hotel didn’t have anyone on site working at all. To get into your room you use a door code given to you by the company. I tried the code several times and I couldn’t get it to work. Luke was still an hour away driving, but I let him know and he tried to sort it out with the operators. It was really frustrating because they refused to talk to him on the phone and would only communicate by email. While I was waiting for him I opened the box my mom sent me! It had so many of my favorite treats and some things to take care of myself like vitamins, tumeric, and collagen! She even included Qtips which was so nice. I’ve only been able to clean my ears two times in the last two months and when you are covered in dirt all day everyday it’s pretty gross when you go to clean then for the first time in a while. The hotel had a hot tub I could access without a key. I was really surprised to find that it was on and working! I enjoyed it while I could!

When Luke showed up I was so happy to see him. He still couldn’t get ahold of the hotel company to fix the problem so we ended up finding another place to stay in town. He should end up getting the money back for the first place we never got to stay at! I got a Powerade at the gas station and we checked in to our hotel at last! We stayed at the Delaware Inn which is a historic hotel that someone collected all kinds of antiques for. Our room was up three flights of stairs but I didn’t mind because the hotel hallways were so interesting. I felt like I was staying in a museum or some sort of place a movie was filmed. After I got a shower, Luke and I went to go get food because I hadn’t eaten since 2pm. It was already 7:30 by the time we left! Just about the only place open was a Mexican place. I got a horchata and some shrimp fajitas. Afterwards we got a drink with everyone at the silver dollar saloon which is a very historic building as well it turns out. Leadville has a lot of history. Before I went to sleep, Luke and I watched Bo Burnham’s new comedy special which was SO GOOD! He’s my favorite comedian.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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