We met our friend, Nitro Joe, at his motel and joined him shuttling to Molas Pass.
As the 3 of us started hiking we ran into about 20 trail crew doing work on the trail. We made sure to personally thank each one for their contribution to our hike. We began to tackle the climbs and said goodbye to Nitro Joe who hikes fast.
By the time we started up another pass it had started raining in earnest. During a hard hail we sought shelter off trail under a big tree until we could see if the weather was safe for us to hike in. We determined it was ok so we got back on trail. We'd brought leftover pizza to eat at our break and it was delicious! We crested a pass in the cold, pouring rain. Our shoes, pants, gloves and parts of our shirts were soaked. As we dropped onto a new valley the clouds lifted and small lakes could be seen in the distance. We were both cold whenever we stopped, the wind was blowing but it was great to think we might get out from under this rain.
We stopped for good in a small campsite near a waterfall. We got our tents set up and dinner eaten without rain falling. Because our feet were soaked they were really cold & we both had trouble warming them up again.
Didn't take many pictures today because it was too cold & wet.
We shared our camp site with 5 other hikers who came in after we were inside the tents for the night. We usually camp in solitude but there are not many places available in this section. Hiked 14.7 miles & camped at 10,912 feet.
We crossed two streams like this one. Every stone or log that rested in the water was covered with white. Peggy said it's calcium carbonate from mines upstream.
The trail climbed up over a slide rock ridge and entered the beautiful meadowed Tin Cup Basin. Far off in the distance were the sharp teeth of the Rockies and the famous Lizard Head Peak.
Climbing by cliffs called redbeds we saw very rich red soil and rock.
We came to a basin where we knew we'd have to climb out but neither of us could see how.
Hiked 15.1 miles camped at 10,797 feet.
Being at this elevation we knew it could be warmer in the night and it was.
Today we wound through the forest and out to hillsides covered with corn lily.
This is a waterless section, we're each carrying water for the day, water to cook dinner with and water to start the next day with. There were 2 places with possible springs which we searched for to no avail.
Oddly, someone had written in charcoal on a tree the word WATER. So I checked it out and found a trickle that I scooped up with a Baggie filling 2 liters. Peggy was just starting to look for a spring when I hiked up to her. Now we could drink when we needed. We were both thirsty.
Hiked 14.2 miles camped at 11,358 feet.
Sometime in the night the wind came up the mountain like a train. Luckily we were tucked away and didn't get in it's path.
Today we climbed up and up to crest the mountain and walk along the ridge top.
This is the start of Indian Ridge, an exposed ridge walk with amazing views.
The shale that makes up the foreground mountain top is slippery and hard to walk on.
Clouds began to collect so we hurried over the Kennebec Pass Trail to see this old miner's cabin on the top of Sliderock Canyon.
These are Mexican Hats growing tall against the wet rocks. We found a campsite by Junction Bridge.
Hiked 14 miles camped at 8,559 feet.
Woke to scattered rain but we were able to pack up as the rain stopped. Today is our last day on the Colorado Trail, only 14 miles to the terminus.
The wet vegetation growing close along the trail meant we might get pretty wet walking out. It was a forested walk, first climbing 1,000 feet then pretty much downhill most of the way. We stopped a few times to snack and arrived at the bottom amid groups of local hikers or tourists interested in our Colorado hike. We talked to a few of them and one lady offered to give us a ride to our Durango