It is amazing how fast you hike when you have family waiting for you at the trailhead. We did not stop for anything. The trail ended at a small dirt parking lot off of Highway 9. We sat down and waited. A woman rode up to us on a Bianchi and offered us fresh grapes. That is when we saw the gold Yukon XL pull into the parking lot. Out jumped Cindy and Neil and they ran to us with open arms.
We threw our packs in the back and hopped in. We grabbed breakfast at the Columbine Cafe and even swung by a fly shop to pick up the new issue of The Drake, which Milo had a full spread picture in. As we wandered around downtown, we could not get over the fact that they were there in person. We were giddy with excitement! A couple of hikers passed by and we quickly introduced them to Cindy and Neil. We wandered into a Patagonia store, a toy store, and even a gear shop called Mountain Outfitters. We ran into another group of hikers before we decided it was time to head towards the Airbnb.
Grateful that we were allowed to check-in early, we began to unload the car at the Ten Mile Suites. It was not till Garbelly noticed a rather large leak in one of the rooms that we all stopped and sat down instead of continuing to unpack. Critter called the host, and she immediately told us that a crew was going to come by to fix the leak and in the meantime, we were upgraded to a larger suite just around the corner. Cindy and Neil were able to catch a glimpse of how fortunate we have been this far on the trail and in towns. (Garbelly has a theory that Critter snuck in the apartment above and turned all of the sinks on and flooded the room so that we could get upgraded). We moved our stuff into the new condo and raved about how awesome the host was to respond so quickly.
That evening we stayed at the condo and even convinced Jeremey to come over for dinner. Neil made his famous salmon, and Cindy made baked potatoes, corn, and spinach. We sat outside and talked until the sun had completely set taking the light of the day with it. A red fox came up to our deck and watched us before curling up in his tail and laying down in the grass. As Jeremey left to head back to his hotel, he noticed one of Critter's socks laying on the ground. She had lost a sock back at Mirror Lake way off trail in the brush. Jeremey had miracously found it, adding to our fascination with how people tend to follow the same path even when it is not along a determined trail.
Sleep came so easily.
The following morning was fortunately a later morning for Critter who was able to sleep in until 8:00am. Garbelly, on the other hand, was up at the usual sunrise. Our room had no windows for the light to leak in but like a finely tuned clock he was up at the crack of dawn. Once we were all awake, we enjoyed a French Toast breakfast and talked about what we wanted to do for the day. We ended up taking the gondola up to the ski slopes and then taking a chairlift up even higher. We hiked around with a view of Breckenridge below us and the mountains all around.
Hungry for some pizza we headed down and back into town. We enjoyed an outside table at Fatty's Pizzeria, and that night we decided to have dinner at the condo again. This time a different group of hikers joined us, Glimmer, Arcade, Thor, and Scrapbook came by and together with the guidance of Arcade, we made a feast.
We ate outside again as the sunlight faded, but tonight we were not visited by the fox.
Sleep came easily once again.
Garbelly & Critter