Here's quick recap of the past few weeks. I've been more or less trying to hurriedly get through Colorado because of the impending weather situation. Spoiler alert, didn't make it out of the state before the snow but it wasn't enough to shut us down.
The San Juans were incredible and totally worth doing (There is shorter alternate if you don't/ can't get through them). The first four days in the range we had beautiful, although very windy, weather. Then, a day out from Pagosa Springs, things changed rapidly. All 20-some miles into town, a constant mix of snow, sleet, hail and rain steadily fell. Needless to say Pagosa Springs quickly became one of my favorite trail towns. One because it's picturesque little town but also because there are buildings there complete with roofs and heat.
Leaving Pagosa Springs it was clear the storms brought a good amount of snow. We ended up changing our routing around a little but still managed keep the hike alive without having to hitch around any parts. Yay!
And then on to the New Mexico border! Hopefully sunshine and warm weather await us!
Enjoying perks of the Colorado Trail and CDT alignment. I can get used to this! Overall since the two trails met up, the trail maintenance and overall quality has improved. Anyone interested in a 480+ mile hike should seriously consider it!
The top of Mt. Elbert with Will, El Madador and Merman.
The Collegiate Range, west route.
We hit the color change of the Aspen's just right!
The start of the San Juan Range.
Snow Mesa, where, you guessed it, it snowed.
More of the San Juans
An emergency shelter we found and stayed the night in. Someone even left coffee and French Press in there for us. Quick story: Not this night but the night before we had incredibly strong winds come through in the evening. So storm in fact that my tent blew over, tent stakes ripped from the ground. I tried setting it up again but to no avail. It was by far the most intense wind I'd ever camped in. Luckily, there was an old mining cabin I was able to squeeze in with Will and it was shelter enough to get some sleep.
The window and the pyramid out in the distance. We took a side trip over a few scree fields to get to the window- totally worth it!
Can't imagine doing this with more snow
Our last day in the San Juans with sunshine
And then the storms came. The day heading into Pagosa Springs, CO. The hail was so intense coming sideways at me I had to shield my face with my hand for most of the ridge.
It's not ideal to be above tree line in these types of storms especially when you don't know if lighting will erupt at any moment but the quickest way down was to keep moving forward.
Sporting the ever fashionable umbrella.
The aftermath of the storms after our stop in Pagosa Springs.
Our reroute took us through Platoro, Colorado where Will contemplated taking another method of transportation.
Right there, that fence, the one that looks like every other fence... that's the CO/NM border. Nothing fancy, bright or flashy, just like the CDT. You wouldn't know it unless you were looking for it. But we knew it, and we celebrated.
The marker to prove It!
Talk to soon from New Mexico, Outro