CDT Day 105: Middle Baldy to Quemado Creek– Colorado Cruising 2.0 Camp to Wyoming in Colorado Camp
Miles hiked: 28
Total miles: 1829
The mountains held off again today to my surprise. It’s funny, I love the mountains and want to hike in them, but an easy day like today sure is a thing of beauty. The mountains will come, but for one day at least, it felt like we were hiking through Wyoming again.
The tree cruising of yesterday continued this morning. I was out of camp at 7:30am, a little after Spice, but perfectly timed to find Crunchberry on the trail, two miles from his camp. We walked and talked a little then separated after flowing through a frozen meadow. I found Spice having a tea break at the top of the next climb. A luxury my stoveless ways will never afford me.
At Lujan Trailhead, I turned right on a dirt road and followed it to some good water flowing through a meadow of brown grass. The whole crew convened there for a mid-morning break and catch-up. We learned the truth behind why Crunchberry became a veterinarian and played a round of Mexican Horse Race.
Spice and I left the others there for more road walking. Gronk pumped out a couple podcasts to pass the time as we wound between forested hills, reaching, walking along, then leaving a paved highway. Lunch came under a lone tree in yet another meadow. The day was just flying along.
Spice got going ahead of me again for the easy afternoon meandering on an old dirt road, so I decided to do some music research I’ve been looking forward to. I plugged in to some Led Zeppelin, planning to listen to their first four albums straight through. Let’s see if I notice anything. That entertained me past sunset, but in between, Spice gave me her Arnold Palmer, and we walked very far on dirt roads. Aspen, still golden, lined the trail for portions, and at other sections they stood leafless. Fall is moving on. While filling up at a creek, Crunch inquired if there was something dead nearby after I took off my shoes. Nope, just my nasty feet. Honestly, there probably is some part of my feet that is dead.
The four of us rolled out together, then were amazed as a wide valley opened before us. No mountains, sure, okay. But a grassy basin? None of us was expecting this, but it was welcome anyway. We strolled towards the setting sun, stretched along the road, each of us taking too many pictures. It felt like good times in the Basin again, except I was a comfortable temperature. Led Zeppelin reached their rousing conclusion a few minutes after sunset. I was left with much to ponder.
We skirted the treeline for the rest of the evening. With every dip to a creek, I felt the icy dampness of the settling air. Spice and I, expecting a frigid night, forced our way into a stand of aspen for their warmth and protection from the wind. It’s not a glamorous spot, but it will do. Surprisingly comfy. Warm? We’ll see. My water started freezing before I finished dinner. Wyoming is colder than I remember.