August 5, 2010
Today’s Miles: 29.2
Total Miles: 101.2
Breakfast Elevation: 10,080 ft
Dinner Elevation: 9,400 ft
High Point: 11,860 ft
It’s a dry, sunny morning as I break camp and hike the short distance to Kenosha Pass.
There’s a paved road and two campgrounds at the pass.
The warmth of the open light feels good after last night’s rain, and I cross the road and re-enter the woods on the far side.
Open views are similar to those of yesterday evening, toward South Park and the Continental Divide.
The path descends to a tranquil meadow with a dirt road, a stream, and plenty of wildflowers.
The daily storm clouds already begin to take shape.
I guess this sunny weather won’t last very long after all.
I cross Jefferson Creek and begin the long climb up toward Georgia Pass.
It begins with gentle switchbacks in a soft pine forest, and eventually the forest gives way.
Georgia Pass is an exciting landmark!
It’s the first place the Colorado Trail truly soars above treeline, marked prominently by the pointed, pyramid-like peak of Mount Guyot.
I see only two other people along this stretch of trail – mountain bikers.
I catch the mountain bikers at the pass, enjoying a rest at almost 12,000 feet above the sea. They’re going to turn around, and ride back down the way they came.
The downhill ride is the fun part!
A cold, wind-driven rain falls as I descend the far side of Georgia Pass.
It has rained on all five days that I’ve been on the trail so far!
On this occasion it merely adds to the excitement of reaching the Divide.
The Colorado Trail coincides with the Continental Divide Trail for approximately the next 100 miles.
After descending from the pass, the trail crosses a stream and begins climbing another ridge. The rain is typically light and intermittent.
looking back on Mount Guyot, from the midst of a wonderful Christmas-tree forest
The sun shines into the woods for only a moment.
Ski slopes of the Breckenridge area come into view as I descend a series of switchbacks.
Clouds move swiftly among the ridges in all directions.
All of these dead pine trees were killed by a beetle infestation.
At least it makes for some pretty colors, and I think it gives a unique character to the Breckenridge / Frisco area.
I begin to grow anxious about the weather, seeking a campsite with water as soon as possible.
Daylight is running short. Rain may begin again at any moment and continue into the night.
A light rain does indeed being again.
I enter a dim, moody forest, interrupted periodically by the small fields along Horseshoe Gulch.
At last I cross a stream in the gulch just before dark, with a good flat campsite only a fifth of a mile beyond it. The rain miraculously ceases for a time, just long enough for me to get situated and enjoy a dinner of teriyaki noodles and tuna.
Tomorrow will be a short day, and a day in town. It’s only three miles to Frisco from here.
I go to sleep very satisfied with myself, covering 30 miles today for over 100 miles in 5 days. I didn’t expect to be moving along so smoothly.