I kind of wish I'd had an AK. I'd say today was not a good day.
The initial omens were not bad. Brenda invited me over for a delicious breakfast of dehydrated pancakes. She has recently become an advocate of water removal for space enhancement purposes and has experimented with spaghetti, apples, and watermelons of late.
We went our separate ways at nine; they returned to Denver and I to my longer journey. Progress was hard won. I have a wisdom tooth coming in and the pain kept me up most of the night. The clothes I left out to dry didn't, meaning I was carrying significantly more weight than usual.
I followed the North Fork of the Gunnison River through coal country. The ugly seams ruined the view and stained the river a dull gray. The road wound through mountains that appeared like fingers on hands not quite interlaced, the highway and river barely able to slip the gaps.
The weather was brutal. The heat of the sun snuck up on me. Without humidity I did not sweat, only a severe zapping of my energy levels signaled trouble. A couple of cars offering rides gave water when asked and I staved off trouble with rest and hydration.
Another afternoon tempest darkened my door about five, the thrashing as it came sixteen miles into a hard day did nothing to soothe my disposition. The pack felt like an anvil, my back and shoulders know the pain inflicted by the Spanish Inquisition.
Finally I hit Paonia, home to vineyards and hippies. The stoned hippies were no help so I resorted to alcohol (but not of the grape variety) enjoying several pints of a lovely local rye porter. One hippie did offer me a bed before conveniently disappearing into his yellow submarine. Abandoned, I made for the park and another night of fitful sleep.
20 miles/2827 total miles