CDT Day 103: Hwy 50 to Marshall Pass Cabin – Simple Lodge and Hostel to Give a Mouse a Cookie Camp
Miles hiked: 16.5
Total miles: 1776.9
Back on trail, but we’re not exactly camping tonight. A half day of hiking followed a half day of eating at the hostel, and SpiceRack and I found ourselves in a crowded snow mobile cabin for the evening. The forecast is looking mostly good, and the trail smooth. Good hiking ahead.
I slept in as long as I could, but was still awake before sunrise. The bed was just too comfy for me after sleeping on a flat pad for the past few months. Spice got going to walk the town before it wakes up as she likes to do. I got going to make breakfast.
Cinnamon rolls (vegan, somehow) and hash browns were on the menu this time, along with the dregs of cinnamon toast crunch. Rooster and Crunchberry helped me out big time with the bounty and Spice finished it off when she returned. The morning wore on because no one was quite sure when checkout was, but finally, after a round of Harambe, we packed up and got moving. One final weather check showed clear, with cold and maybe snow showing up in four days. Eh, we’ll be in Lake City by then, right? We are getting to crunch time, with the San Juan or Creede route choice coming up. Good weather means 150 miles through the mountains, snow means 40 miles through Creede. I’ve been rooting for the San Juans since the beginning, so to see a generally clear forecast was music to my ears.
Spice and I caught a hitch without even trying. A gentleman offered to take us back while we were walking to the main road. A quick stop to drop off his groceries, then we were back on the side of the road by Monarch Lodge.
The six miles up Hwy 50 went quickly and a minimum of close calls with incoming traffic. Aspen were beautiful. We rejoined the trail at Monarch Pass after a peruse through the well-equipped general store. The tread was smooth and dimpled with mountain bike tread on a long traverse up to and along a ridge. Hills, rather than mountains folded into the distance west, hazy layers of silhouettes. For the first time in forever, the air was calm and I didn’t need to layer up until after sunset, on the descent to the trees.
We reached the cabin by headlamp and were surprised to find it occupied. Three other hikers had claimed the cots, but the wood stove was going so I didn’t mind one bit. I stripped off some layers and scarfed a strange dinner before setting up on the floor next to Spice. She blew up my new mattress while I visited the outhouse, setting me up for a kingly night of sleep. Hang food from the roof to thwart mice, then snuggle in an unnecessary quilt. Starting the section out right. Cozy.