Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Day 16: Tennessee Creek to Highway 24 (Leadville!)
What a difference a few degrees make! I woke to cold, soggy shoes and was thankful. It is much easier to cram my feet into wet shoes than frozen ones.
We enjoyed smooth, dry, (mostly) mosquito-free trail all the way to Tennessee Pass. We hiked quickly, stopping only briefly to enjoy a wooden swing along the trail and a bucket of trail magic left by the Leadville Hostel.
Although Jeff met us at Tennessee Pass, home to a very interesting memorial to the 10th Mountain Division, we hiked on for several more miles until the trail crossed Highway 24. Then we piled into the truck and headed to Leadville.
First stop? The Leadville Hostel, which had graciously provided room and board to Maple. Although we still don't know the full story, we have heard that Maple was found by a Colorado Trail Foundation volunteer trail worker. She instantly understood how special Maple must be, and found a way to return him to us via Groceries, who was hiking in the area while waiting to meet a CDT hiker in Leadville. Groceries left Maple at the Leadville Hostel, knowing we would be passing through the area on our hike. I love the trail community!
Next stop? The Golden Burro, for a delicious late breakfast. In between errands we also had a chance to try the local ice cream shop, Cookies with Altitude, and the Tennesee Pass Cafe, all highly recommended.
Most unusual town chore? Patching my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes with duct tape. After only 250ish miles, my shoes are beginning to come apart at the seams. Large holes are opening in the mesh, allowing dirt, rocks, pine needles and other debris inside. Sierra's Brooks Adrenaline road running shoes, in contrast, are holding up just fine. I'm hoping this temporary fix will be enough to hold the shoes together for another hundred miles or so.
We've met several CDT hikers in town, including Stride, Soulshine, and Smiles. It seems we are all heading out tomorrow, so we may start seeing other hikers on the trail.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 8:30 PM