Big surprise on my second section (from CT 104 to CT 177). Emerson showed up! He drove up from Houston, climbed Mt Massive (a 14er) and met me (around CT 164) and we hiked for a day. It was a very nice surprise.
Emerson and I hiked to where the North Mt Elbert trail intersects the CT and camped for the night. The next morning Emerson took his stuff and some of my heavy stuff and headed back to his car at the Mt Massive trailhead while I headed up Mt Elbert. Mt Elbert is the highest mountain in Colorado at 14,425′ (60′ lower than Mt Whitney). I went up the North Trail and down the South Trail and then into Twin Lakes for a much needed zero. Unfortunately the mountain was socked in so not much in the way of views.
This section was about 75 miles and took me 5 days. It started with a hike out of Frisco, up the Peaks Trail back to the CT. Just after joining the trail I ran into a solo hiker, Mary Poppins, who I saw several times during the morning as we both climbed up 10 Mile Ridge in driving rain. A big climb, over 3,000′. Mary is trying to do the CT in 16 days, with 30-35 miles per day. She made it from Denver to Breckenridge in 4 days. It took me 7. Crazy! Coming down from the ridge I bumped into Mary again just outside of Copper Mountain Resort and we both decided the climb merited a burger for a late lunch. And a beer.
And she gave me my new trial name, Impy. Which is short for impatient which, I guess, is sorta appropriate. I guess. Anyway I am now Impy.
And saw more animals on this section….but no bears!
And met more hikers – my first north bound thru-hiker, a couple of guys (both named John) in their 70’s doing the CT in 3-4 day segments, and a hiker that surprised me into falling and cutting my arm.
Twin Lakes is my second zero and it was nice having Emerson here (plus damn handy since he took me to Leadville and the Safeway!). Twin Lakes is protected by “Woody” who ensures that everyone obeys the 30 mph speed limit.
And the icing on the cake? We arrived on Martini Night (i.e. Wednesday) and Twin Lakes has a real bar!