Wanted to do a lot of miles today so I woke up early and was on the trail before 8am. Was a wee bit chilly but dressed warm. My fingers were exposed though and those got pretty cold. Eventually it warmed up and I was able to take off layers.
A few miles in I understood why they call the Rocky Mts the Rockies. The trail had rocks everywhere. Big ones, loose ones, small ones, sharp ones, slippery ones, round ones...so much that I spent most of the day walking even on the flats and downhills. And if it wasn't rocky it was wet, muddy and slippery. One of my least favorite riding days thus far.
I came across a dozen or so people working on the trail. They were moving some of the rocks to try and make it more bicycle friendly. I thanked them for their services and kept on riding...I mean walking.
Saw a huge skeleton of a big animal...either an elk or maybe a cow.
Then I came behind a lady and her son hiking. I tried to be loud so I didn't surprise them but they didn't hear me until 10 feet away. The lady turned around and let out a scream. The kid hid behind the mom. Sorry I said. Didn't mean to scare you.
We talked for a bit as we continued hiking. A downhill section came that was actually rideable so said goodbye and off I went. Didn't last long as it started hailing. Yes hailing! So I had to stop and put on rain gear. The lady and son passed me. I had a snack and waited a bit before going on. Tried riding but slipped and had a good superman fall so decided it'd be best to walk.
When I caught the lady again, she was with a backpacker named Aimee. She asked if I was heading and camping at razor creek. I said yes and that I might camp there. She said I should as there is a big group ahead of her that's camping there.
Along the way I saw a blue rain jacket on the trail so I picked it up hoping I would catch the person that dropped it. As I got to razor creek a couple were starting to walk uphill back on the trail. They asked if I saw the jacket and I said yes and gave it to them. They were so happy that I found it and they didn't have to backtrack several miles.
There were about 9 or so people here with tents up and a nice big fire at mile 292.8. I asked if I could camp with them and they said of course. It was starting to sprinkle and so I hurried to set up my tent and change clothes.
Sat around the fire making dinner and meeting my new friends. Most of them were only doing a few segments at a time, eventually doing all the segments but taking a few years instead of doing it in one go like Aimee, Wendy and myself.
When Aimee, the mom and son arrived everyone cheered. Aimee's knee had started hurting a few days ago so didn't know if she would make it to camp so everyone was happy when she did.
After camping by myself for 12 nights I will say it was super nice to have some company. Plus it was convenient not having to start a fire as they had a huge one already going. Some of them even gave me chocolate and other yummy snacks.They were a nice group of fun people and I hope to connect with them again somewhere down the line. Most of them are based near Denver and they have a meetup group called Trails and Ales so will look them up when I am based in CO.
After taking some group photos the group slowly started getting smaller as people went to bed. I was one of the last two around the campfire until it was just coals and time to hit the sack. This was the only night I forgot to take a picture of my tent set up at camp...but here is where it was.