Day 50 – A Long, Hard Day

A long, hard day. In spite of sleeping on Greg’s comfortable futon, my feet ached much of the night. I got up at 6 for breakfast of granola and chocolate milk. Greg drove me up Cottonwood Canyon to the Avalanche trailhead and the Colorado Trail. The first major climb of the day ascended the shoulder of Mt. Yale. A good trail made the climbing easier. Then down to the North Cottonwood trailhead. There I met a woman riding a horse with a pack horse following. Then up for 3 miles to Harvard Lakes (see photo) where I ate lunch with about 10 boys who were members of a church group. They gave me a giant chocolate chip cookie! Then up another 900 vertical feet followed by a descent to Frenchman Creek. From the ridges, I enjoyed views of the 14ers to the west and the Arkansas River to the east. Then up and down the flank of Mt. Harvard to Pine Creek. I had a rest with a hiker who complained about his blisters after only 2 days on the trail. The last climb of the day ascended a flank of Mt. Oxford then down almost to the Clear Creek campground. At 6:30 pm, I camped on an old road in a patch of sagebrush with no mosquitoes. During a previous Colorado Trail hike, I was eaten alive by mosquitoes at the campground. A long, hard day. 22.4 miles in the books.

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