A Continent Divided – June 1 & 2

We woke up in Steamboat Springs, threw our laundry in and started packing up all of our stuff. It’s amazing how us being somewhere for only two nights can make us so unorganized. But we got things packed up, got our laundry all cleaned, and headed out. As we walked down the hill Rebecca could tell she still wasn’t feeling too well but figured we could make it if we took it easy. About 5 miles into the day she had to take a break under a tree. When we started up again to make it up the mountain she realized today was not going to be her day. Rebecca didn’t want to go back into Steamboat Springs because we didn’t really know the people we knew there, and it would feel like a wasted day.

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The mountains were beautiful as we attempted to hitch up them

She convinced Tim that we should hitch hike forward to the top of the pass, try to make it 3-4 more miles and then camp for the night. We would be in the mountains on National Forest land, so camping would be legal and fairly easy. It took about 35 minutes to get a ride up the hill, and we only got one once it started to rain. A woman with her two children was driving up the mountain to camp for a couple of days and had their two dogs with them in the back. We crawled into the already crowded car, thankful to finally be on our way, and out of the rain.

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We could see Rabbit Ears Pass in the distance

When we got to the top and got dropped off, we decided we should eat lunch. But Rebecca could only eat about 2 crackers and gave up. She told Tim she wasn’t going to be able to make it any more, and probably wasn’t even strong enough to carry her backpack up the hill behind us where we decided to camp. Tim agreed she looked pale and that maybe it was a good idea to set up for the evening. We walked up the hill to find a good spot to hide. Luckily, there were enough trees to block the road away and we easily found a flat spot. Tim walked back down the hill to get Rebecca’s bag, and we set up for the night. The tent was up by 3pm and Rebecca crawled in just as the rain started. She only got up for the rest of the evening when she felt sick. Tim was able to relax, listen to podcasts, and hope that whatever Rebecca had wasn’t contagious.

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Our forested path to the tent

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The view for the rest of the evening

The next day, after a night of unhealthy bodily functions for Rebecca, we decided it would be best if she hitched down to Kremmlimg to recover and Tim walked into town. It was going to be a 31 mile trip and with losing calories all night, Rebecca didn’t feel strong enough to finish it. So she took Tim’s sleeping bag and a few other things from his bag to lighten the load, and headed out to a pull out so cars could stop for her.

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Rebecca, with an overfilled bag and an extra sleeping bag

She was picked up by a nice young man who had spent over a year backpacking across southern and central Asia with his girlfriend only a few years ago and now was the owner of a rafting company. He’d been in Steamboat Springs picking up a new boat, so having someone to talk to for a few minutes of his 4 hour drive was a welcome change. He dropped her off at the coffee shop in town where she sat for a few hours writing blog posts and listening to town folk talk about events of the town. Kremmling Days was next weekend so the first group meeting was a small group of men discussing the expected turnout and events. Then a family came in meeting for lunch with their toddler aged son, the father was working at the high school as a coach but was able to sneak away to meet for lunch. And Rebecca’s favorite group to come in was a few ladies in a knitting circle. They chatted with her some about the trip, with interest ranging from “I wish I could do that” to “young and stupid decision” but they all had interesting questions. Meeting people who ask about the trip always reinvigorates us and remind us why we’re doing this.

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Sometimes we have to find places to camp and it isn't easy!

After a few hours, Rebecca headed out to find camping accommodations. We’d been told the firehouse or police station allowed camping in their lot, but after many attempts Rebecca finally got in touch with someone who said that wasn’t allowed anymore. So she went to the nearby rv park and set up camp. The lady at the desk enjoyed the story of walking across the country so much she gave us 50% off.

Tim started the day heading downhill. We crossed the first continental divide in the car yesterday, but he crossed back over it in the first hour of walking. We’d make the final cross of the Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass just before Denver.
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The views were gorgeous from third high up and with all of the wildflowers.

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There's a tiny bit of snow up there

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Another peak

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The Continental Divide??

And as he rounded one of the many hills (on a pretty tight shoulder) he spotted a cyclist. Rich is biking from Denver to San Francisco even though he’s from Michigan. He told Tim he’d be seeing two more walkers today walking from Mexico to Canada on the Continental Divide Trail. They were about a mile apart when Rich saw them, but walking together. Tim walked away from the conversation with a but if a skip in his step knowing he’d meet some fellow pedestrians soon.

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Rich, about to conquer the Continental Divide

As he texted Rebecca about the news he saw the first hiker. Maniac (his trail name) asked Tim to let Problem Bear (the other hiker) that he was going to hitch a ride into Steamboat Springs and that he should wait at the pass for him to return. Tim guessed that Maniac is from Australia or New Zealand based on his accent and continued his walk down the mountain invigorated by the task.

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Maniac on his way up the road

Only about 30 minutes later Tim saw Problem Bear with walking sticks slowly coming up the road. He stopped to talk to him. They’d been traveling for a couple months and were planning to walk the while divide trail this summer. Tim passed on the news about waiting at the pass for Maniac and headed off. He still had quite a few miles to go before meeting up with Rebecca in Kremmling.

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Problem Bear on the move!

The day was getting hot, and there was no shade so it was hard for Tim to take good breaks. Luckily, by the Wolford Mountain Reservoir there were picnic tables set up with some shade and he was able to eat there. He planned to take just a short break, but when he dropped a corn nut a prairie dog came out to eat it and he realized he had made a new friend. So he spent the next couple of minutes filming the prairie dog and watching it run around looking for more food.

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Prairie dogs make funny noises

As much as the prairie dog was entertaining, Tim had spent an hour playing with it and knew he should be on his way.

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He was so close

He still had about 8.5 miles to go and couldn’t waste too much time out there. The rest of the walk was the most uneventful, though the sights were still beautiful.

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The mountains are back there

When he got into town, Tim stopped at the grocery store. The deli had just closed for the night so all of the deli food was half off, which means chicken wings and macaroni and cheese for only a couple of dollars. He carried the food to the east end of town where Rebecca was waiting with the tent set up and the sleeping pads blown up.

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Goodnight Kremmling

We ate dinner and showered before heading to bed. The bathrooms were weird because the stall doors were really small and you could see the people at the sink when you stood up, the showers were the same way. We were thankful to have showers after a night of being sick and a long day of walking, it prepared us for the next day when we’d both be on the road again.

Today(s) we walked through:
Steamboat Springs
Kremmling

Rebecca: 13,820 and n/a steps
Tim: 14,558 and 66,281 steps

1205 miles finished

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