It had been a rainy evening. While we were dry inside the tent, the tent and tarp were soaking. This was when we started to realize how good Paul’s suggestion would be to have a night in a hotel to dry out and cleanup. But we still had to get to the trailhead:
Up at 5 and the tent fly was very wet inside and out due to rain and condensation. We swapped sleeping mats for P it might’ve been warmer but was too hard which meant he slept all night on his back and snored which kept S awake most of the night. Packed up with no breakfast and started hiking to meet Paul. on trail at 6:30. More uphill than expected and then a steep downhill to Twin Lakes and the Collegiate East/West decision sign. Walked along the shore and saw a group of 6-8 CDT hikers camped and then started seeing day hikers with dogs and then the large car camping area. We made it to the trailhead a little before 9 and Paul arrived fairly soon afterwards. We drove to the best western in Buena Vista and we’re told they had been full for the past three months and probably everyone else is as well and that Salina would be a better opportunity. So we drove to Salida found availability at the comfort in reserved our places but couldn’t check in until later. We tried to get breakfast at a nice restaurant but it was a larger than 45 minute wait so we went to McDonald’s which worked surprisingly well and Paul and P looked at the hiking plan for the next week and quickly aligned on a rough outline with goals constraints and flexibility. Headed to Salida Mountain Sports where we resupplied and then headed to Walmart where we got the rest of the food that we needed. Having headed back to the hotel they let us check in a bit early and we set out all of our gear to dry did our laundry and showered. P and Paul chatted with a CDT hiker over laundry. Went to 50 burger for an early dinner before heading back to our rooms to repackage all of the food pack up all of our gear ready for a 3:30 am alarm to be ready on trail by 5:30 am. Let’s hope P doesn’t snore too loudly tonight so S can sleep.
GPS Hiking stats:
6.8 miles, 2 hours 35 minutes
Ascent 1299 ft. Descent 1469 ft.
Campsite altitude 7100 ft. (hotel in Salida)