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Once again, we awoke to a morning filled with passes to climb. This time the passes’ names were Searle and Kokomo. We were only about three miles from the top of Searle Pass when we started our day, but the last mile or mile and a half were mostly hike-a-bike, with the last 1,500 feet trail-less, as there were huge snow drifts covering any distinction between tundra hiking and path hiking. So Andy and I found ourselves hiking through snow-melt creeks and bare tundra, trying in vain to discover the actual path until we neared the top.
Eventually we made it to the top of the pass and were rewarded with an undershelming descent. Fortunately, Kokomo Pass’s descent was MUCH more exciting, after climbing it of course. It was a steep descent with some flow at the top, but then lots of chunk at the bottom.
The Leadville Mistake
After completing what little of segment 9 we could complete (much of it is a wilderness section), we took the Leadville Detour to Leadville and their local grocery store. Although we had already had first contact with civilization in Breckenridge, Leadville’s grocery store somehow lured us into an eating frenzy, what with its little outdoor seating section and 3 dishes for $6 deal at their fresh food window. Andy and I couldn’t help ourselves. I alone ate 5 S’more cookies (off their discount fresh-baked shelf), cold Lo Mein, Kale Super Salad, Potato Salad, raspberries, 1/2 pound of Jo-Jos, and a Powerade. Andy ate the same quantity, but ate Bean Salad and Eggrolls instead of Kale and Potato Salad. It was not a carefully planned out meal, and we paid the price.
Filled to breaking point, neither of us could very well pedal, but fortunately the ride out of Leadville was a downhill screamer for miles, and once we were out of Leadville, we were greeted with a VERY gentle uphill and massive tailwind to aid our aching bellies.
We rode the rest of the detour and 3.3 miles of the CT to Herrington Creek, where we set up camp just before a thunderstorm hit, happy to be nearing our halfway point and happy to have our eclectic menagerie of food choices at least partially digested. We went to sleep to the sound of quiet rain and our first small thunderstorm subsiding into the distance, happy with the accomplishment of completing over 50 miles and 4,200+ feet of elevation gain.