I wanted to get a super early start so that I could hitch a ride into Silverton ASAP to get my resupply box at the post office. I had no idea if they were open on Saturdays but was hoping. Alarm went off at 5:30am. Wrote in my journal for a bit and then got up.
Wasn't as cold as it usually is so that was nice. But when I got out of the tent one of my flip flops were missing. I had left it outside my tent with my shoes and water (CamelBak). I found it like 10 feet away next to a tree. Fucking weird. Freaked me out a bit and couldn't figure it out. I had ran out of breakfast food so skipped eating and just packed up and left.
As I started hiking, when I went to take a drink of water from my CamelBak, I noticed the entire end of the bite valve was chewed off. WTF? OK now I know why my flip flop was moved. Some critter came last night and moved it and chewed off my bite valve. Don't know what it was but guessing a mouse, rat, chipmunk, or squirrel. That bastard.
It was about 4 miles...all uphill...with 2,000 feet elevation gain to the highway. Wasn't too bad until the last mile as I could see the road but it kept following it and didn't get closer to it for ages.
My thumb went up when I reached the highway and about 15 minutes later a nice couple stopped and picked me up. They were from Durango and just getting away for the weekend as there was a big bike race down there. They were heading to Silverton to go hiking. Thanks for the ride guys, much appreciated.
They dropped me off at the only bike shop but they weren't opened yet. I checked the post office and was happy to see they were open on Saturdays but only from 11am-1pm. It was 10am so I decided to get a coffee, go to the bathroom and check emails.
Found a camping store and bought a new bite valve for my CamelBak then headed back to the bike shop. Still wasn't opened so I called and talked to the owner. As I was talking he pulled up in his car. Unfortunately he didn't have the brake pads I needed either. Damn it. Guess I'll be using what I have and hope it makes it to Durango. I would say the brakes are working at a 75% rate. Better than no brakes.
Went to the post office and picked up my resupply box plus another bonus box that was from my friend Amy. She had surprised me with my favorite candy bars, homemade cookies, chips, a beautiful card that said congrats you are almost there, and a bunch of other goodies. You're the best Amy, thanks
Went to the Golden Block Brewery to have a pizza and a Not Your Dads Root Beer before heading back to the trail. While here I repacked my backpack and sent out a press release to Durango and Silverton newspapers. I sent an email to my mom asking if she could send the press release to more places but she wrote back saying she was taking tests for real estate license all week and didn't have time. I asked her to find someone that could do it as I had to get back on the trail as I was behind schedule. Hope she found someone...
The train was just arriving in town when I left the restaurant so I rode by it and took a few photos. Of course some of the tourists took photos of me too.
Stopped at the liquor store for a small thing of Fireball for when I got to camp. Then it was back on the highway with my thumb out. I was next to a gas station and a guy came over to take my picture. I asked if he was going towards Durango and he said no but he could drive me the 6 miles up to the pass anyways. Awesome! Thanks dude.
Got dropped off and I was back on the trail by 1pm. Going to Silverton was a 3 hour delay but I needed to resupply. This meant I had missed 3 hours of riding so now I was behind schedule. Saw lots of bikers on the trail and talked to a few of them.
Kept on going and eventually had to do a #2. No toilets nearby so I had to go in the wild for the second time of the trip. Instead of logs, this time I made a toilet seat out of two rectangle rocks. Not the most comfortable but it did the job.
Finally made it over the pass and knew it was 3 miles downhill to camp. Was happy about that until I realized I had to walk most of it cause it was too loose and rocky. Bummer.
Passed two ladies camping and pushed on until I made it to Cascade Creek. It was beautiful. I explored the area and ended up finding a spot to put my tent right on a cliff overlooking the waterfall at mile 425.4. Definitely the coolest and scariest campsite of the adventure.
Had a smoke, set up camp, ate some munchies along with dinner which tonight was buffalo chicken. Spicy but delicious! Washed it down with Fireball and just laid back and watched the waterfall and the stars as they slowly starting appearing. Wow. Just beautiful and amazing. Just when I didn't think it could get any better...it did.
It wasn't that cold out so I just laid there enjoying the view. It really was magical and when it got dark out I decided to go thru all my photos of the trip and have a little slideshow while deleting the bad ones. Was super cool going back to the start of the trip and remembering the entire adventure day by day.
Once I finished it was nearly 10:30pm...one of the latest nights I stayed up...so decided I better get some sleep. Crawled into my tent, set my alarm and fell asleep to the relaxing sounds of the waterfall.