Updated: May 20
Today's Report - 7/2/17:
I was able to cover the rest of the detour of segment 27, and all of 26 and 25.
I started at 6:25 a.m. instead of 4:00 a.m. I was well rested but just didn't want to get out of my warm sleeping bag and tent. I'd say the temperature was around 37 degrees at 10,500' so it was relatively warm for that altitude.
I packed up my gear around 5:45 a.m., retrieved my bear bag (for food) out of the tree and began running around 6:25 a.m. I stopped running by 6:45 a.m.! The trail was in very poor condition and completely disappeared several, if not many times.
For those of you who don't know, 13 miles of Segment 27 are closed due to a very small fire. In my opinion, it should not be closed and I truly believe that the Dolores Fire District is putting people in more danger by rerouting them. My rant for the day. Anyway back to the story.
The "alternate" trail was in horrific condition and probably hasn't been groomed or managed in years. Completely overgrown and unsafe. I crossed the Creek at least a dozen times which ultimately started a blister on the middle toe of my right foot. Water and dirt are not a good combination. It's fairly small so I'm hoping a little care tonight will keep it from worsening.
The trail was loaded with plants that were blocking the trail for miles. Wild roses and raspberries shredded my legs. Razor sharp cuts that caused a significant amount of pain at first, but after awhile, it became easier just to stop fighting it and blaze though it. My legs were numb after the first hour of slashing. It was my very own version of the Barkley marathons. I finally made it off the Clear Creek trail around 11:30 and on to the more friendly Hermosa Creek trail. So it took me about 5 hours to go just 11.5 miles.
I finally rejoined the CT around 1:30 and was able to really cruise on the downhill sections once I hit Blackhawk Pass. Just another 40 miles from there.
I ran the last 20 miles trying hard to outrun the rain but it ultimately caught up with me. After getting off the trail at the Molas Pass trailhead, I jogged the last 5 miles on hard pavement down to Silverton. The pavement was hard on my feet but it was nice to have stable footing at last. I arrived at my hotel at 9:08 p.m., completely exhausted. I don't think I could have gone another mile.
There was a nice big pizza waiting in my room when I arrived. I ordered it hours ago, but I don't care - it tastes wonderful. Outside my window it's now pouring rain, so it was good to finish when I did. Tomorrow's climb will be laborious as I head into the Wemuniche Wilderness area. I doubt if I'll have any cell reception until I reach Creede on July 4th. That's it for today - I'll check in two days from now.
Stats for today: 15 or more river crossings 3 falls (all on the Clear Creek trail) 12 or more slips and slides Countless stumbles 1 blister 2 achy shoulders At least 40 cuts on my legs At least 9 cuts on my arms 1 ripped pair of running shorts 63 miles (8 extra because of STUPID detour) Over 10,000'+ of climbing Memories - infinite!
So long San Juan mountains. I really don't think I'll miss you. ---- Tomorrow is going to hurt.
End of Day Two