June 30th 2015
Day of reckoning.
Today started off well enough, hiking followed by more hiking. I left a few minutes after Reststop and Viper. A couple miles in and I was lost, a common trend for the day. I wouldn't really call it lost because I knew where I was but I wasn't where I needed to be or even on the trail. I bushwhacked up old jeep roads in mosquito infested bogs and eventually made it back to the trail. The trail ran the divide and was mostly ridge. Mosquitoes are finally a force to be reckoned with, flies make my life hell when the mosquitoes aren't available.
Around 2, I decided to take the "shortcut" Viper was preaching about. Half way down I made a wrong turn, followed by another wrong turn. I found myself so low in elevation I got a couple ticks... Eventually I made it to sage, then giant fields of cow wheat. I paralleled the road I wanted going the wrong direction for a couple miles. Eventually I decided to cut across the fields, what a mistake. The various grasses were chest high and growing out of a stinking bog. Halfway across the fields were streams and nastiness. After an hour of walking in hell I made it to brambles surrounded by barbwire fence and maneuvered my way over it. Wet feet and low self esteem and I was on the road. I walked back the direction I was supposed to be going to the pass. Instead of a 10 mile walk to the pass it was a 20 mile walk, I really goofed up. After a couple hours of walking I gave up and started hitching, another hour and I was at Monarch Pass. I celebrated with one of those giant cans of tea from the store at the pass. When I walked in the store, Elinor greeted me, she had been there since 2 updating her blog. There is no cell service but there is WiFi! Bigfoot and Atlas trudged in 15 minutes later.
I was planning on sleeping at the pass to save money but a huge thunderstorm rolled in. I said screw it and hitched down with Atlas and Bigfoot. We got dinner, a beer and ended up getting a room at the Hostel. There were only 2 bunks left so we got hosed with an expensive room. Should have just found a hotel.
Anyway, welcome to Salida. I'm stuck here for a bit and need to figure things out.