July 14 2015
What a day... And night. After sitting in the warming heat for a couple hours I decided to hike in the rain to find a place to set up my tent. Unfortunately I ended up hiking all the way to the top of the cell phone tower mountain, the radiation attracted me.
The morning was sunny and I was off and hiking by 6:30. I decided to take the divide route and really enjoyed the views it offered. Going up and down what felt like 3000 feet at a time sucked but wasn't the end of the world. Eventually I reached a section Ley calls "the cliff" and has very specific instructions for south bounders. So naturally I reversed them and headed off to my left down a super nasty scree and talus slope and spent the next 45 minutes attempting to kill myself. I was not very happy with my decision at all and wondered how others could do this. Eventually I worked my way down to the cliff/saddle and looked back up, if I would have gone up and over the top it would have been a steep grassy descent instead. Super frustrated I pushed on crawling over huge boulders on my hands and knees. With my last bit of energy I climbed up the other side and plopped down on a big rock at the top for a brief rest. Unfortunately, the thunderstorms were starting to surround me, and I had another peak to climb and descend, so I pushed on.
The rest of the day was spent on a trail on the divide hiking in freezing rain and and hours of hail. I dropped off the divide because of the lightning and walked along an old railroad. A car of guys drove by and offered me a ride, hoping the storm would abate I politely declined. When I reached the divide again they were sitting at the pass getting ready to leave. It was still raining and I had to keep climbing so I took them up on the ride and went back down to Winter Park.
Sitting at the brewery an hour later for happy hour I met by local buddy from the day before and told him what happened. His real name is Michael Jordan... Conveniently my pals Viper, Trivia and Tragic also bailed on the weather and showed up in town. So we got a room with a hot tub and chilled all night. Not the best day but it turned out okay, my only concern is getting back to the trail.
And honestly, I'm still laying in bed at the hotel (in the future) at 9 am. I need to get my act together and boogie. I have a plan to hike the remaining 25 miles to Grand Lakes but I'm quickly losing the ability to hike 25 miles.