So my last blog entry mentioned returning to the trail from Lake City to continue northward. Lies all lies.
Sweet As and I got a ride up to the trailhead with Beacon, but then at the last minute, while pulling into the parking lot, we decided to bail on hiking and take an extra zero day! As a way to justify our behavior, we grabbed sodas and Doritos and hiked south on the trail until we ran into Sunshine and Balls and surprised them. Or more accurately, hid in the woods while Sunshine immediately spotted us...
It was the best kind of zero day, all our bags were packed, ready to go, and we went back to the hostel and ate more and watched movies with Balls and Sunshine. We left 24 hours after we planned, but it was the type of zero day fantasies are made of!
We hiked the next chunk of trail, about 100 miles over the next three days, and rolled into Salida CO. We got to climb our first 14er of the trail- San Luis, and had a stretch of trail that was relatively snow free!
And now, for my rant of the "weak"! Salida is the first town in which hikers that skipped the San Juans, and hikers that walked through them (me), rendezvous. The skippers can take a road walk shortcut and skip some of the most challenging and beautiful miles of the trail, and save them over a week of walking. In years with bad weather or crummy conditions, this option is less of an option and more of a necessity. But this year is a really great year for hiking and people are still choosing to skip the mountains. Reasons such as safety and gear are being cited, but it seems that some people are just being lazy. I find it really frustrating, because these people are saying that they are hiking the "continental divide trail" and yet willingly place themselves on roads and easy alternates. If you want to tell people that you hiked all summer, go for it. But stop telling people you are hiking the CDT when in fact you are taking short cuts and skipping the actual divide. I AM hiking the trail, safely, and sticking to the divide corridor, and I'm irritated by those "thru-hikers" that are devaluing my hike with their alternates. If you want to hike from Mexico to Canada, you can pick any number of easy roads that are faster and shorter. If you want to hike the divide, suck it up, put on your big boy pants, and get out there. Ugh.
Oh and thanks to my Papa for hooking me up with a nice hotel for the night; it was a reverse father's day gift! He should feel so lucky to have a fantastic daughter like me! :)