Riding the Colorado Trail: Day 10

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Another Challenging Detour

Once again, we awoke knowing that a challenging detour was in our future, but unlike the previous morning where we felt unmotivated to tackle the challenge, we both were feeling pretty good going into the day’s work.  We had made it a little farther than first anticipated the previous day, we had both slept well, and our goal of making it to Silverton in two more days seemed just that much more attainable, so off we went after a quick breakfast.

Having filtered water in a nearby stream which was next to a cow pasture, our water tasted heavily of cow pie, and Andy couldn’t quite handle it, so he refiltered his water, upon which we learned that his filter had gotten majorly clogged by the filtering of said cow pie water, so the rest of the trip we were plagued with rather long filtering sessions.

The First Bonk

Our day largely centered on completing the detour, which had two major climbs.  We finished the detour around 3pm, which was pretty impressive, but afterwards Andy experienced his first major bonk of the trip, and we limped back onto the CT through Jarosa Mesa, a wild and primitive part of the trail which officially starts the San Juan section of the CT, known for its unparalleled views and temperamental weather.

We only made it about 8 miles into this section (segment 22) before calling it a day.  There was a yurt that we had hoped to reserve that night that we camped pretty close to, but upon inspection found it inhabited by some weekend warriors who had reserved it before us.  Our natural charms had no effect on their resolve to camp sans stinky bikepackers, and we begrudgingly settled into our soggy campsite that got increasingly soggier as the evening waned.

Andy was a bit out of it that night, so I tried to do as much as possible to help get things ready to go for the morning, but as drizzle turned to rain, and as rain turned to hard rain, I somehow neglected to notice that Andy had hung his shammy, socks, and rain gear ‘out to dry’ for the night, despite it raining pretty much all evening.  Andy was in for a ROUGH morning.

We would also find out that morning that his GoPro had been left out all night with its USB latch not fully shut, resulting in a not fully functioning GoPro for the rest of the trip.

In total, we rode 51 miles that day and climbed 6,200+ feet of elevation.