A day of joys and frustrations. I arose at 6, ate breakfast (chocolate milk), and walked the east end of town. I stood at the junction of US Hwys 160 and 84 for half an hour before local resident Connie picked me up and dropped me at Wolf Creek Pass. I started hiking at 7:30 with a climb. Hiking was easy with a good trail and few snowbanks or wet spots. After 7 miles, the trail turned north gaining and losing elevation twice to scenic Spotted Lake where I ate lunch (see photo). Onward past Archuleta Lake to the shoulder of Mt. Hope, elevation 12,400 feet. The wind blew so hard that I had to stow my hat and bandanna. More walking above tree line with views of trees killed in the huge West Creek Fire a few years ago. I reached the Creede Cutoff, a trail that follows creeks north for 25 miles to Creede. I followed a faint but visible trail for a mile. Then it disappeared in an area burned by the fire. I spent two frustrating hours thrashing over deadfalls on steep terrain looking for the trail. Eventually, I found a trail and followed it along Goose Creek for several miles. I stopped for the day at 5:30 because my left foot hurt. I camped in a grassy area next to a patch of burned aspens. The late start and the time spent looking for the trail limited my progress to 19.4 miles today. If the trail holds up, I hope to reach Creede in 22 miles tomorrow.