CDT Day 88: zero in Eldora, CO – Friends Place
Miles hiked: 0
Total miles: still 1554.5
I rode on a moose and lost a sock today. We also binge watched a Japanese reality show and ate buckets of pasta. Although we didn’t plan for it, our zero day in Eldora was about as good as one could hope for. It’ll be hard not to take another.
I woke up on the bottom bunk with morning sun streaming through the window. I slept great, which is rare for a town stop. There is usually artificial light and a bunch of road noise, but not in Eldora. Dark and quiet. I think it might actually be more peaceful than the trail.
Elaine and Dan were gone on their morning hike up a local mountain with weighted packs, and then were gone to work in Boulder. SpiceRack and I hung around drinking tea and thinking about hash browns until 10am or so, when we could take it no more. We took the spare car in the driveway into Nederland to find these hash browns and take care of our town chores.
We got the goods at the local greasy spoon, busy with Sunday tourists up for the fall aspen. We passed the time after starting a load of laundry by riding the Carousel of Happiness, which is a cool treasure tucked away in this quirky town. This is where I rode on a moose, hand carved along with all the other animals by a Vietnam vet as a form of self-therapy. There seemed to be more adults than children on this ride. We also learned about the frozen dead guy at the visitor center and resupplied at the grocery store where no backpacks are allowed for a perceived threat of bombing. Back to the laundromat where Spice noticed that I was down a sock. Must be back at the cabin.
We ate a bunch of stuff and chilled on the couch for the better part of the afternoon, but burning a hole inside of me was the thought of my missing sock, the same one I ran 8 miles to retrieve not too long ago. After exhausting all options at the cabin, I convinced Spice to drive me back to town to check the laundromat one more time. To my great disappointment, my sock wasn’t hanging on the lost sock rack. However, a frantic crawl around on the floor proved fruitful and I found it laundered, but covered in hair in a shadowy crevice under a folding table. The feeling was indescribable. A huge victory and weight of my chest. Seriously.
After such a stressful few hours, I was more than happy to eat pasta and watch Terrace House after they got home from work, late into the evening. Thru-hikers themselves, these two know exactly what we need on a zero day. They also were extremely positive about our timing through the Colorado and reassured us that we are doing great regarding weather. They even went so far as saying that we were hiking through at the perfect time. Fall colors, and clear if cold days ahead. This was nice to hear, especially from such knowledgeable locals. It seems like everyone else that we meet in this state, and there are a lot of people here, can’t help but tell us how lucky we have been so far and how soon the snow will come. “Oh wow, you guys have been so lucky with the weather.” “Oh, winter is coming soon.” It has become tiresome to hear this fearmongering on a near daily basis. Yes, Spice and I actually are aware that Colorado has a winter. Elaine and Dan’s encouragement was a breath of fresh air. Maybe it’s just because they told us what we wanted to hear, but it felt as though they had lifted a wet blanket from our minds. They are genuinely stoked for us to be out here for Fall. And now, Spice and I are too.
The conversation was so good that it was hard to end it for sleep. But they have work in the morning and we should probably start hiking again. It has been a great stop and their offer for us to stay as long as we need is tempting, but the mountains are calling again. The Divide is calling. Three more weeks of epic Colorado mountains and mind blowing fall colors await. Time to hike.