Colorado Trail – Day 13

August 17, 2013

Miles Hiked: 11.4
Total Miles: 142.6
Segment: ​​8

Today’s goal was to reach Tennessee Pass, hitchhike to Leadville, and stay the night in a hotel. I camped close to treeline last night so other than the pain of downhill hiking the hike wasn’t too bad. Coming down through the valley was kinda neat. There were a lot of people on 4 wheelers and such towards the bottom. At the bottom of the valley was a line of bunkers or something. Just a long line of small concrete rooms buried in the ground. There was an uphill climb out of the valley but I’ve done worse. As I was hiking up, a group of people stopped their 4 wheelers at the bunkers. I heard one guy trying to explain the history. About all I could make out was World War 2 and storing ammunition. He could have been full of shit though. The last few miles of the segment were extremely boring. Just one of the old gravel fire roads going through the same looking trees mile after mile. I was glad to reach Tennessee Pass. I changed shirts because the one I had on was sweat stained. Then I started trying to hitch. A guy in a little red pickup finally stopped. I think his name was Charlie. He works on the roads up in the mountains. Stays up there for 17 days at a time. He is originally from about 70 miles south of Ft Smith. He lives in a cabin built in 1896. He dropped me off at the north end of Leadville. I walked over to the nearby Silver King Hotel. No rooms. But the woman says that Super 8 has rooms available. She calls and asks them to reserve the room for me. Nice. So then like a moron I proceed to walk 2 miles to the other end of town to the Super 8. I finally get there and I’m told I can get the discounted price of $130!!! For a Super 8?!?! I was told that it is because it is “race day” in Leadville. Like I give a shit about race day. I told the woman that was too expensive and left. I called another motel in town and the man politely informed me that due to “race day” there wouldn’t be any rooms available. Well fuck. So, confused on what to do, I grabbed a burger. By the time I left it was around 6:30 or 7. I proceeded to walk all the way back to the north end of town and try to hitchhike back to the trail so I can camp on the trail. No one picks me up. I guess because it was getting dark. Now I’m freaking out. I roam the woods around the highway thinking about camping there. I see No Trespassing signs. The last thing I need is to get shot by some hillbilly. So I work my way back towards the end of town and head off in the woods. No good places to hang my tent. By now it is dark. So I pull off my sleeping pad and put on my rain jacket. I’m just over a slope out of sight of the highway and the nearby gas station. I try to sleep just laying on the sleeping pad. I know I’ll get cold. About an hour later I was cold. I pulled my tent and sleeping bag out. Put my tent on the ground with my sleeping bag inside. Got inside and zipped it all up. Surprisingly warm yet very uncomfortable. I actually slept some though.

⇐ Day 12​​Day 14 ⇒

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Leadville, CO

⇐ Day 12​​Day 14 ⇒