Day 11 - Segment 16/15
19.8mi 3,206ft Elevation Gain
My goal today was to get to Monarch Pass and get my resupply box and maybe some goodies from the store. I started late, but I walked with a pep in my step and crushed the 18 miles getting to the store by 1PM.
The Monarch Pass Store as a trip. It is packed floor to ceiling with kitch for everyone.
It is located next to the Monarch Pass ski area.
I took the opportunity to dry out my gear in front of the store. True hiker trash. Hiker garage sale.
I ate two giant salted pretzels and sat by an outlet waiting for my battery pack to charge. While I was there I got a message from my friend Chelsea saying that she was in Colorado near Gunnison. True serendipity! My phone wasn't on airplane mode and I was at the road that would take me down to Gunnison.
We had tried to cross paths last year when I was on the CDT. But timing and weather weren't in our favor. Originally the timing wasn't going to work out this time either as Chelsea was going to be out-of-state as I was on passing through. But luckily her plans got postponed.
I was able to get a hitch from a delightful Woman on her way back from an art exhibition in Boulder. We talked about all sorts of things on the 40 mile ride down to 'Gunni.' She was a very accomplished road and mountain cyclist. She wore a bracelet with charms listing the names of every country that she had ridden in.
She dropped me off at the brewery and Chelsea met me shortly later. We enjoyed a brew then drove a little north to where her husband and her live. On the way we stopped to say hi to Dave as he was catching tonight's meal.
We ate really good that night. We made a salad from vegetables picked freshly from Chelsea's garden. Dave grilled up some corn on the cob and Chelsea filleted and perfectly prepared the freshly caught salmon.
We were joined by a couple of their friends. They were about to set foot on the Colorado Trail in a couple days. It will be their first long trail. They were very excited and full of questions which I was more than happy to answer. We talked late into the night by a warm wood furnace.