Luckily the last two days into Salida really made up for the rainstorm. We spent an hour and a half drying our sodden tent and clothes and liners and sleeping bag on Monday.
The weather really turned it on for us. Warm, sunny, slight breeze. Some intense climbs (we still did 24miles on Monday!) But some spectacular views. On the way down to Monarch pass we walked some of the most stunning trail so far. Big views, of big mountains, with sunshine and flowers and puffy little clouds. Days like this are what hiking was made for. Colorado is really turning it on for us.
It rained on us for 12 hours on Sunday whilst we were hiking. We even stopped for an hour and a half lunch, during which it continued to rain. It rained as we climbed a mountain, it rained as we ate. It rained as we walked down a mountain. It stopped raining long enough for us to start pitching our tent, but then restarted immediately, just to ensure our entire tent became as wet as possible whilst we were pitching it. Then, it rained right on until midnight. It's just as well everyone knows bears don't go out in the rain, because we cooked in our vestibule and ate in our tent. Then we slept with our food. Because I think we might have floated away if we got out to hang up our ursack.
Here's a photo of the cloud we hiked right through at the top of the mountain. That was pretty cool.
So, plans didn’t quite go as... planned. The original plan was to go to Stowe Vermont, primitive camp in Mt. Mansfield State Forest, and do some day hiking. Our car wasn’t so keen on the idea.
We have been noticing a squeak on the rear passenger side around the wheel. We have been so busy, we haven’t had time to get it looked at. On the way to our destination, the squeak started to get a lot worse so we took it in to a garage to get it looked at. Apparently one pf our break calipers is siezing, and the part could not be found on a Saturday. Thankfully we can still drive, but we have decided to find a campground right where we are and stay here instead. We will head back to Montreal tomorrow, it’s only a 45 minute drive.
So, here we are at a big campground on Lake Champlain in VT. We hear more Québécois than English. This kind of camping is not exactly our speed, but the weather is nice and it is good to be out of the city and sleeping in a tent.
We are now on our way out from Creede and up to Salida. There are a few thunderstorms forecast so hopefully we don't get too soggy and sorry for ourselves. The climb out of Creede is no joke. We climbed for 15 miles with only one small 3/4mile descent around mile 11. It was a very long day of climbing.
On the way out, we walked past some beautiful old mining ruins. They were quirky and cool, and helped break up the (very) steep section of climb right at the start!
The Sawtooth trail is... Well, "trail" is a strong term to use for the attached photo. If anyone can find the trail in that photo let me know. We certainly couldn't find it. Added to which, the fire obviously cooked all the roots so the soil had no stability. You would climb over a log, which was on the way around another 3 logs and as you stepped on the ground the dirt would give way below your feet. It was 3 miles (4.8kms) of very slow going and very hard work.
The Mushroom House is probably one of the most curious sights on the Buckeye Trail. It is located at 3331 Erie Ave in Cincinnati. The crazy house was created between 1992 and 2006 by the late architecture professor Terry Brown (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-cincinnati-mushroom-house). I crack a smile every time I pass by this house, which looks like it is right out of Wonderland.