After our lovely relaxing time in Lake City, where I introduced my brother and mom to the absolute magic that is Love Island UK (specifically season 5) we were headed back up to Spring Creek Pass for the drop off. We weren’t in a huge rush since they had reserved bunks in the Colorado Trail Yurt so it was going to be about 8 miles to guaranteed shelter and the hike in wasn’t too much elevation gain. It started mostly on a jeep road before transitioning to single track.
Despite the mellow start, our hike (the part I was on) was very eventful. We ended up following a herd of sheep up the trail for a while, got to see cowboys and cowgirls in action. Cowpeople. I guess Sheeppeople. We also realized that mom’s pack was squeaking so spent a good amount of time trying to figure that out. Turns out the best solution was for Ben to hold it off her back while she walked. Fortunately she had gotten dad to ship her other pack out to the next stop, Silverton (much more on that later). We also talked Love Island, I explained some of the lore and history, a lot of the slang, not realizing that I had created monsters and they would end up finishing the season before I did. As we walked the afternoon storm was slowly building and eventually I turned around at what I felt was the last point that I could make it back to the car before the storm hit. And off they went, up into the dark clouds. “They’ll be fine,” I thought, “They’re heading to a yurt.” (Narrator: They were not fine) I mean they didn’t get struck by lightning but it got dicey.
I headed out, checking back on the clouds periodically, keeping an eye on the sheep to see if they were freaking out. They weren’t, but I actually don’t know how sheep feel about storms. Once the thunder started I definitely was hitting a bit of a jog on the downhills, and I did beat the storm back to the parking lot. We had a ton of extra pizza from Lake City so I hung out for a big offering pizza and oj to hikers and bikers coming through, remembering how brutal mom and Ben said the plateau was coming down to Spring Creek Pass. Also I didn’t have any refrigeration so there wasn’t much I could do with so much pizza by myself. I totally get why people do trail magic though, so many endorphins from giving pizza to these suffering hikers and seeing how much it totally changed their demeanor and gave them a boost going forward. Unfortunately about 33% of the ones I offered pizza to were gluten free, and I don’t think oj has the same emotional impact as pizza.
After my trail magic I headed down to the campsite I had found earlier and watched the storm rolling around the mountains, relieved that they were in a yurt and not setting up their tents. The next day would be my longest drive of the trip because I had to go all the way around the San Juans, out to the desert, west to Durango and then up to Silverton.