As we woke up nestled among sheets and pillows, we reflected on the goal for the day- get back to trail. It was not a difficult goal at least that is what we thought. Charlie and Hannah were in the room next to us and seemed to be on the same page. We were all running a little late getting packed so we were probably going to milk the 11:00am check out time for all that it was worth, but after sending back our snowshoes and running by a gear shop, it was back to trail.
The day did not quite pan out this simple. After leaving the Silver Ridge Lodge, we swung by the Simple Foods Market on our way to the UPS store. As we were walking a car pulled in front of us and out of the window popped a man's head, who shouted, "Are you guys CT hikers?!" "CDT!" We shouted back. He gave us a hand signal that slightly resembled a motion to hold on as he pulled over to the side of the road. He introduced himself and let us know that he was a trail angel in Salida. He offered to give us a ride to the places we were interested in going to before leaving town. We met him down at the UPS store, which was closed to our frustration, but Chuck had another idea, a better idea. He drove us up to a place called PakMail. At PakMail, we were greeted and assisted by an incredibly helpful woman who helped us fit our snowshoes in boxes and even figured out the cheapest way to send them. It happened that USPS would be our best option, but she helped us get our boxes ready to go and properly labeled and taped. We loaded back up in Chucks car and headed to the post office. There we said goodbye to Chuck and ran into the building to do what we had been dreaming of...we sent our snowshoes home! Critter even sent the brain of her pack home!
Our packs already felt lighter even with a bag full of food. What a relief it was. Now we would have to keep our fingers crossed for no snow, at least rapidly melting snow. After we left the post office, it was time to grab lunch. We wandered up to Mo Burrito to grab some food and work on some last minute things like finishing up post cards. Next we headed towards the river but quickly became overwhelmed. We always make it to town just in time for their big festival.
Unfortunately, when you are trying to get back on trail, the people, noises, and festivities can become more overwhelming than intriguing. We headed back towards Highway 50 so that we could begin hitching. All four of us were able to get a hitch to Poncho Springs where we were dropped off near a line of go-carts and "Frankenstein" bikes, made from a bunch of different parts.
A hitch back up the pass on a Friday night proved to be more difficult than we expected. We were finally able to get a ride and made it to trail. We hiked a quarter of a mile up the trail before peeling off into the pine trees to set up camp. Our goal for the day had been accomplished. It was not a huge goal but a goal nonetheless. Getting out of town is tough, but immediately rewarding.
Garbelly & Critter