I left my eyrie early in the morn. The temperature had dropped significantly and I donned my long pants for the first time since Nebraska. At the end of the trail I encountered Peru Creek, a blue-gray stream running through the valley. I had to taste this water pure, untainted by my pills. I took my chances that the elk had not thrown a poop party upstream and won on this occasion. Score: Me 1 Giardia 0.
I followed the creek down towards Montezuma, near which my forgetfulness caused a detour. I'd left my phone charger (again!) and my I-pod (a new development!) at the Wilsons. I'd told them to send the items to Copper Mountain before realizing that town's mail was actually sent to Frisco. I can pick up the ADT again just south of there.
In the interim I visited Keystone, which had the nerve to be in the way. Skiing is the life blood of this community and the short winter and light snowfall has been a vampire, sucking away the strength of the local economy. The disaster came as even more of a surprise after the banner year of 2011. That season brought record revenues.
The locals I spoke to are currently more worried about other elements of nature: wind and fire. The High Park blaze has continued to grow, and two other large conflagrations are burning, one near Colorado Springs and another in the southwest part of the state. Breckenridge looked to join the list today, but quick action by park rangers and fire fighters extinguished the threat. Strong winds are expected in the coming days, which will only fans the flames. Many thousands of acres will be added to the total of forest already torched.
I went only a couple of miles beyond Keystone today, wrapping up early at Lowry Campgrounds. Yesterday's toil took a mighty toll and I needed further rest. I found a piece of soft earth and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. During the evening I was treated to more kindness by my neighbors. The campground host brought me chicken fajitas and Julie from the adjacent site gave me a space blanket to keep me warm in case the night chill overcame my sleeping bag's abilities.
12 miles/2612 total miles