CDT Day 93: Buffalo Basin to Copper Mountain (Denver, CO) – Chipotle Belly Camp to Guest Bed Camp
Miles hiked: 13.4
Total miles: 1634.8
Some lucky timing and delicious pizza made this a day to remember. The free bus schedule couldn’t have worked out better, and straight up lucky timing for our detour to Denver really made it look like we deserve more than our fair share of credit for planning it this way. But when things go right, why question it?
Pizza and town were calling when we woke up this morning. At 7:20am, with most of the hard work completed yesterday evening, we pushed the last mile to Eccles Pass (11,906ft). It was sunny and windy, with great views north to ogle, but I made great haste down the other side. Mostly because I had to poop really bad.
I took care of that business, then chased Spice down some cruisy trail to North Tenmile Creek where we filled up on chocolate and water for the final big climb of the day. With a few days off in Denver coming, I held little back and pushed hard up the gentle switchbacks. Spice was feeling strong today and was right behind me as I exited the treeline into a beautiful basin of red and green. Uveta Pass (11,926ft) was up next. All downhill from here.
A quick check of the bus schedule informed us that we needed to make it the five miles to Copper Mountain in two hours. Challenge accepted! We flew down the wide trail, with just a few stops to pet dogs and bask in the golden aspen. With less than five minutes to spare, we made it to the bus stop bench, feeling pleased with our effort. In the few minutes we had, I turned circles to look at the mountains surrounding us, bald on top, a sweater of changing aspen on the lower slopes. Timing, amazing.
Bus to Frisco, then bus to Breckenridge. We headed to the totally plant-based Piante Pizza. I had researched this establishment when I was still living in England many many months ago, so I was thrilled when it lived up to the hype. Spice and I ordered a second helping if garlic knots even before we were halfway through our first. The pies were amazing too.
My brother showed up mid meal to experience the amazingness, then we loaded into his car for the shuttle to Denver. But before heading to his place, we made a stop at the REI where Big City Mountaineers happened to be holding their end of season get-together shindig. If you are unaware, Spice and I are using this CDT hike to fundraise for BCM who bring under-resourced youth into the wild on backpacking trips throughout the summer. We think it’s an amazing organization, really making an impact. My brother has volunteered on a weeklong trip for the past two years and tells an inspiring story of the growth he sees among participants first hand. If you want to support BCM, you can donate to our fundraiser at give.classy.org/cdt There is a ton of information on that page about BCM and why Spice and I think they’re rad. Check it out. Any and all support is greatly appreciated!
The event was awesome for more than just the free food. We got to meet for the first time the BCM team, and also the most important people, the kids. Hearing some of their stories, explained with impressive eloquence, was inspiring and had a profound effect on me. I’m sure Spice would say the same thing.
Hiking rules, and BCM rules for getting more kids hiking.
Spice and I were tired when we finally made it back to my bros place in downtown Denver. Even showers seemed like a tall order, but for the sake of the guest bed sheets, we did our best to clean off the dirt and sweat and sunscreen and whoknowswhatelse.
We made it here, and in good style. Colorado has been tough so far for many reasons, and we are both looking forward to a reset before the next push. A couple days off are in order, and if some more vegan pizza shows up, I won’t complain.
And again, BCM fundraiser here: