Slow and Steady

Day 5 - Segment 24

24.7mi 6,415ft Elevation Gain

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I knew my day was going to start with a big dissent followed by a huge ascent.

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I steeply switched back and forth on my way down to the Animas River. The views were spectacular.

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At the bottom, I crossed over the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tracks into the Weminuche Wilderness.

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I climbed steeply all morning roughly following Elk Creek.

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Just before the top of the climb there were several small hard rock mines and this dilapidated old cabin.

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At the top of the climb the Colorado Trail meets up with the continental divide trail. They'll share some miles through the San Juans. I thought it was funny that here there were two treads worn into the mountaintop. The left is CT, right CDT. 

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Once I got up to 12,000 feet the evening thunder clouds rolled in. They held out for a while. I could see storms in the distance.

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On my way down I was treated to some side ways hail! 

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I like to photograph these things .

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The division of reclamation, mining, and safety...  that's a new one for me. 

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The sky cleared up. I continued trucking into the evening. I set up camp by a small alpine lake at 12,000 feet.