Well I made it to Salida by getting a great hitch from a girl named Chelsea. I had been watching cars pass for about 40 minutes before she stopped. Chelsea is from Gunnison and was headed into Salida to meet some old friends.
I hadn’t run into Kelsey on trail and couldn’t figure out how I could have passed her. So I was hopping to find her in town. I ended up at the Simple Lodge hostel. Great hostel in a great location, only blocks from the Arkansas River. The hostel was full of hikers on the Colorado Trail, it was fun talking and hanging out with them. Reminded me of being on the PCT.
I met Blaze (from La Jolla) and Michelle (from Pennsylvania) we all went out to celebrate Tequila day and watched people body surf in the river. Salida is cute little town, with its own town deer! Yep, actually there is about 3 that just hang out in town.
When Kelsey didn’t show I hopped a shuttle with Blaze and Michelle back to the trailhead. They headed south on the CT and I headed north on the CDT.
I passed at about 20 CT hikers that day all headed southbound. Just me hiking solo northbound. I have to say I do enjoy hiking solo, there is a different feeling when you are are alone. There is a sense of freedom, independence and self reliance. I also hike differently when solo, my own pace.
I hiked two whole days by myself and enjoyed it. (I do miss having someone else in camp at night though, and I suck at selfies) I hiked out that morning and got surprised by a moose!! I took a picture and watched him standing in water for a bit before heading up the climb to the pass. At the top of the pass guess who comes up behind me? Kelsey! She had taken the alternate route. We exchanged stories of the last days as we hiked into Twin Lakes.
Twin Lakes was not so great. Very small and the store did not have a good resupply. After getting kicked out of the restaurant/inn, yeah that happened. We decided to hitch into Leadville, as I had heard it was a hiker friendly fun adventure. We got a ride quickly and planned on getting supplies and getting right back on trail…..but Leadville.