6/10/15 Day 47, M1513.1 to Hot Springs Trail, 9463′
Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 7
30.4, 894.4 Trip Miles
Overcast with light rain
Day’s of Snow: 7 – Day’s of Rain: 14
# of Zero days: 5
7 am to 7:40 pm
Gila Crossings Final Total: 221
Tick Count: 4 (3 more crawling on me)
3 Ground Squirrel
116 Wild Horses
37 Cotton Tail Rabbits
22 Horny Roads
19 Prairie Dogs
17 Jack Rabbit***
15 Ground Squirrels
2 Rattle Snakes
*181 from car, **3 from car, ***1 from car, ****1 from car
No dew this morning. That was a good start.
The trail was muddy and wet but free of snow after just a half mile or so. First we ran into a cow elk then spotted a Wilson’s Warbler. Next came a herd of 20 elk and a few more individuals.
The forest was an old burn but still beautiful to walk through. It was an ATV track but at least it wasn’t road.
At a sign saying a bridge maybe out we continued on. Sure enough the sign wasn’t out of date. The bridge was gone. As our feet were already wet we looked for a way across the raging head waters of the North Fork Elk River. With wading the first channel and throwing a few logs down for the second we used a existing log to cross the third and final channel. All told it took 30 plus minutes.
After that it was all blow downs. No one maintained the trail as the bridge was out. No more than a half mile later there was a big bridge which was the detour. Oops!
At this point I was on single track, actual single track. I can’t recall the last time I saw this. It only lasted 5.7 miles. After that it was dirt followed by pavement. Nine miles later we came to Clark’s Store in Clark, CO. We found Seth, Genny and Bird Dog all who walked the road the whole way. We were just a half hour slower on our route.
After some lunch and relaxing it was 11.5 miles of walking paved CR129 south towards Steamboat Springs. Neither Rafiki or I took any water from the store. When we got to the Mad River TH we decided to ask a nearby neighbor for water.
Asking for water turned into a 45 plus minute conversation with Dale our water giver. He also told us where we could camp tonight. Super nice guy with lots of questions. He kept saying he should let us go but then kept on talking. It was great even if I was tired and hungry.
We left Dale and followed his directions to the Hot Springs Trail of CR129. We found two flat spots under what Dale called the “Love” tree. It’s a giant spruce, which some ass burned a heart and initials into. The river is not far so it’s loud. Definitely an ear plug night.
I also hit 100 birds today! And I’m only 5.6 miles from 900.
I remember sleeping well this night. I needed it as the day yesterday. This was one of those days you don’t feel like you got anywhere. The road walking and extended breaks really break up the day. I was also torn because I really wanted to be in the woods not walking roads into town.
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