Day 46 – From Forest Boredom to Alpine Delight

From forest boredom to alpine delight. After a restful night, I started hiking at the usual hour. For 3 miles, the trail ran through forest with many dead trees. After that, the trail traversed a mile of grassland on Sargents Mesa then back in the forest. I soon met a mountain biker pushing his rig uphill. He was bound for Silverton on the Colorado Trail bike route. The trail ran through forest for 2 miles and crossed Tank Seven Creek where I got water. I camped at this delightful spot on both of my Colorado Trail hikes. I began a 5-mile climb through lodgepole pine forest, which ranks as the least scenic forest type in the western US. Plus two motorcycles roared by. I broke out of the forest on the southern flanks of Windy Peak with grand views and cell phone service. I called daughter Helen to discuss tents. The views continued for a mile then back in the trees for 3.5 miles to Marshall Pass. Two cars of tourists arrived as did hikers Liminal and Candy Man. I was hoping for an offer of food or drink but that didn’t happen. Upward on a road where I met about 15 mostly younger people finishing a short backpack trip. Some of the kids looked relieved to be done. In a mile, I got water from a spring near an old miner’s cabin. About 3 miles from Marshall Pass, the trail broke out of the trees with great views of the area. I got water for dinner at a small stream and shortly thereafter found a scenic campsite on a knoll near an old shelter (see photo). A wonderful way to end the day. 23.1 miles in the books.

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