Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 32: Colorado Highway 14 to Rabbit Ears Pass (Steamboat Springs)

The cattle are lowing. A horse whinnies in the distance. Although it rained much of the night, the rain has finally stopped. 

As we are packing up, we spot two hikers approaching: Mouse and Flower.  Sierra and I were excited to see Mouse, who we met on the PCT in 2012, and happy to meet Flower. Mouse left the Mexican border on May 31, and is traveling super light and fast. Just a few minutes after they hiked on we met another CDT hiker, Abandoner. Three CDT hikers in one day is almost unheard of!  Including these three, we have only met twelve CDT hikers in Colorado thus far. 

After packing up, we trudged up the narrow shoulder of Colorado Highway 14 (the current official CDT route), a busy highway flanked with no trespassing signs. Truckers honked their greetings, motorcyclists waved, and most cars passed by giving us a wide, respectful berth when possible. But road walking any highway requires perusing the pages of the Roadkill Cafe menu, and the sight of so many dead animals distressed Sierra. 

Our route paralleled Grizzly Creek, a marshy creek popular with both beavers and birds. We also spotted a herd of domestic buffalo on a ranch next to the highway. Colorful wildflowers lined the road. 

We quickly reached Rabbit Ears Pass, our destination for the day, and headed into Steamboat Springs for the day. First stop? Johnny Be Good Diner, a highly recommended restaurant in town. After fueling up we tackled our usual town chores and fruitlessly searched for new shoes. 

Yet again my Brooks Cascadia trail runners began developing holes in the mesh uppers in less than 100 miles, allowing dirt and debris to pour inside. In contrast, Sierra's kids Brooks Adrenaline road running shoes did not develop holes until after 400 miles, and past models of Cascadias have lasted 500 miles with no holes at all. But even in an outdoor town like Steamboat Springs, footwear options are limited so for now I will have to patch and go. 


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