July 13, 2017
Was everything still wet from the day before? The answer is yes!
I went into this ride with an ultralight backpacker mindset, because I did not have a lot of extra space to pack. I also wanted to keep the carried weight low. Which means, I did not carry that many extra clothes.
I had my normal riding outfit, which was based on the layer system. This included a base layer shirt (my preference of a moisture-wicking, long sleeve shirt), riding tights, fleece pullover, and down jacket. In my packs, I carried a sleeping layer, extra pair of socks, an extra shirt and some shorts. That’s pretty much all I had for clothes.
So on this cold morning, with my normal riding attire still wet, I went with my extra shirt and shorts for the ride today.
Today, we will finish up Segment 14 and then take a Zero Day.
Colorado Trail – Segment 14
Segment 14 is 20.4 miles long. Our ride today went smooth and watching the sunrise was beautiful and warming. We officially reached the a halfway point on trail!
I do not have much to add about this segment. I guess our minds were just set on finishing up for the day.
We finished at around 2:30 PM.
The segment ends at HWY 50, but that was not an ideal place to camp. So we continued a little further down the trail. Camping is actually prohibited for the first .8 miles of Segment 15 because of private property, but we found a great place to camp just past the .8 miles.
We went ahead and let the horses graze while we set up camp. Annie’s parents were not at the trailhead yet, and we were expecting a visitor today. The lack of cell phone service mixed with the struggle of keeping our phones charged, made it hard to get in touch with anyone. We did have a satellite phone with us, but that doesn’t help when the people you are trying to contact also don’t have service.
I decided to head back to the trailhead to wait for a bit and at least try to get a signal to make a call.
Bless the Trail Angels
So back story… the past few days we had gotten in contact with someone (a friend of a friend) in Colorado that wanted to bring us pizza. Literally *insert happy tears* a Trail Angel that wanted to drive all the way out to our location just to meet us and bring us pizza.
Such a beautiful thing.
(Yes, I realize we craved pizza A LOT during our trip.)
Of course, after already riding/hiking 20+ miles, I didn’t really want to walk all the way back to the trailhead. I noticed a couple packing up their fishing gear, getting ready to head back up the road to HWY 50. I ran over to them and asked if they could possibly give me a ride back up to the trailhead. They said yes with no hesitation.
On the drive back up the road, I told them about our trek on the Colorado Trail, and they were very interested about our trip. When they found out that I just wanted to be dropped off at the trailhead to wait for our friend and missing trail parents, they insisted that they could not leave me alone at the trailhead. They wanted to make sure our friend got there, and that I would have a ride back to our camp. More trail angels, I’m telling y’all. They were so kind!
We talked and talked. They talked about goals for fixing up an RV so they could do more camping and fishing. I talked about the crazy adventure my friends and I have had so far. Almost an hour went by with no luck. I had tried to send out messages, so all I could hope is that texts had been received.
The couple drove me back to camp to check in with the team, and still, they insisted on staying with us until our friend and Annie’s parents had arrived.
We decided to drive back toward the trailhead when we finally crossed paths with an incoming truck with someone looking for a group of horses and girls wanting pizza.
It was our Trail Angel, Michael!
I said goodbyes and a million thank yous to the couple that stayed with me that whole time, then headed back toward camp with our new friend, pizza, cold drinks and watermelon.
Annie’s parents showed up a few minutes later. It turns out that they were waiting at a different trailhead which was 3 miles further down the road.
We ate so much today! We hit the point of hiker hunger where we could eat any and everything and had zero self control. It was great, though. I am so thankful for everyone who stepped in to help us. I mean our pizza guy drove hours just to bring us PIZZA. I mean come on. How are people so kind?!
Tomorrow is a zero day. We had a lot to get done, but also just wanted to rest, relax, get the horses extra hay and maybe visit the town of Salida.