Day 78: Monarch Crest and Butterfly House

Miles Hiked: 10.5

Total Milage: 1250.4

Location: Butterfly House

This morning 12 pack and I both failed to wake up at 6am. I remember opening my eyes at 7am and making eye contact with 12 pack in the cot across the room and we both instantly fell back asleep. After how crazy this last stretch was for both of us, we were just way too exhausted to start hiking. We ended up sleeping in until everyone else started moving around 8am. It was nice to be in a warm bed with a roof over my head. The temperature outside was probably in the mid 30s this morning. We got ready to hike and waited around because the hostel owner told us he’d give us a ride back to the trail so we could slack pack. After waiting until 10am with no sign of him coming to give us the promised ride, 12 pack and I decided we needed to hike out of we wanted to beat the rain. I decided that we should attempt to hitch for about 10 minutes before hiking back out the way we came in. A nice rafting guide pulled over for us and drove us a couple miles to the top of the pass where the trail crosses. From here, 12 pack and I hiked Northbound for the first time in a long time. The goal was to hike back to the boss lake trailhead where we made the turn off to go to the hostel to begin with.

When we got dropped off I got my picture taken by the sign before we headed up the mountain. We hiked across Monarch Ski Resort where Luke took me to Celebrate my birthday this past winter! It looked a lot different without snow. As we were hiking up the crest, I got some service so I gave Luke a call! The clouds were not looking good so I was hiking as fast as I could hoping to not get caught in the rain. I passed some NOBO CDT hikers who were just leaving the town of Salida. At the top we crossed paths with Max and Maddie who were slack packing in the opposite direction as us. I successfully made it to the top of the crest without getting snowed or rained on despite the clouds rolling over the crest. It was nice to descend all the way back to the hostel. I ran into Hummingbird who was hiking NOBO. I was so happy to see her because I was starting to get a little worried! She told me she did two very easy days out of town because she was really sore and then was avoiding the storms for the rest of the time. She will be going in to Salida for a zero day so we won’t be seeing her unless we catch up to her in Wyoming. She only has to hike another 100 miles south to connect her footsteps to where she left off before flipping. 12 pack and I will have about 270 left to go all the way back to Cumbres pass in comparison.

Once I reached the boss lake trailhead I started walking down a forest service road back to the hostel. The same road I walked down yesterday. There were some cars along side the road and when I saw one driving in the direction I was going I stuck my thumb out to see if I could get a ride. A nice couple gave me a ride about a mile down the road to the trail I needed to take to the hostel. On a day like today, I’ll do anything I can to get more rest. There was no need to rehike the same road I took yesterday! I was so nice to be off my feet for the day.

Once back at the hostel, 12 Pack and I hitched a ride down to the nearest grocery store where we picked up enough breakfast food to make for both us and Max and Maddie. When we got back to the hostel we made a frozen pizza and relaxed until about dinner time when we made breakfast! We cooked eggs, pancakes, and bacon. We also had some chocolate milk and juice. It was so nice to cook my own food in a kitchen for once! This is something I haven’t gotten to do on the trail very often. In fact, I think this is the second time I’ve cooked myself a meal in a kitchen since I started.

I went to bed around 8-9pm and got some great rest! It was only us four at the hostel tonight so it was really quiet which was nice.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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