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Colorado Trail - Day 5

SEGMENT 20 (Northbound)

On this segment , I only ran a few miles from where I was dropped off. I covered only about four miles in this segment so I can't count it as a complete segment.

SEGMENT 19 (Northbound)

From the Eddiesville Trailhead, I started running northeast, around 7:00 this morning. Just to the northwest, I could see San Luis Peak. It was tempting to take a side-trip to the 14'er, but I knew it was much further than it looked.

There was a plethora of beaver dams in the Cochetopa Creek about four miles from the trailhead. After that, the segment lacked the abundant water supplies from previous areas.

After struggling so much in the San Juan mountains, this segment was by far the easiest, with an elevation gain of only 1,442' and a distance of just 13.7 miles. I was finished with this segment by 10:00 and hardly noticed the backpack, as I was able to run eight minute miles again.

I was able to travel much lighter than previous days because I only needed one night's worth of provisions. My total weight for these two days was only about six pounds, compared to nearly three times that much weight just a week ago.

Segment 19 is part of the La Garita Wilderness area. I heard off-road vehicles in the distance, but I was greeted by no one on this segment.

SEGMENT 18 (Northbound)

I was wise to fill all my bottles and hydration pack in this 13.8 mile segment. I found one small stream about halfway through but did not fill it because of all the mosquito larvae in it.

It was difficult to maintain a consistent pace throughout this segment. I'm not sure if it was because of the hot, dry conditions or the swarms of mosquitos that had suddenly become such an annoyance. Whatever the reason, this segment took nearly three and a half hours to get through. The elevation gain was a paltry 1,534' and still I struggled.

With a little over a marathon's distance behind me, I was eager to cross over highway 114 and back into the shade. I stopped for lunch and boiled my water for Ramen noodles diced with dried Salami. (Thanks John and Rae for the suggestion!) Unlike last week, my stomach has been fine without the dehydrated food.

SEGMENT 17 (Northbound)

Around 2:00 pm, I started the long climb towards Sargent's Mesa, some 20 miles away. I felt invigorated after lunch and was able to actually run again, averaging nine minute miles, despite the lengthy climb. The first four miles were tiring and my troublesome left foot began to ache a bit.

Around 4:00 pm, it began to rain so I put on my rain gear and slipped a trash bag over my backpack to keep my tent, quilt and clothing dry. It didn't rain heavily, but it lasted for about an hour and a half. I didn't feel threatened because I didn't hear thunder at any point. I did end up fairly wet however, but more from sweating under the plastic rain gear than from the actual rain itself.

I reached my campsite around 7:00 pm and set up my tent on a really nice, flat piece of ground, something that had eluded me on previous nights. I had spaghetti for dinner, cleaned the sweat from my face and body, and brushed my teeth. It felt good to get into my tent in a horizontal position, although it felt like my legs were still running hours after I stopped.

Today was a good day, with all cylinders firing. No stomach issues, and my water stops were timely and effective. I was able to think clearly today, unlike last weeks panic-stricken adventure.

I covered a little over 47 miles in 12 hours. A good day indeed.

End of Day 5

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