Following two days shortened by inclement weather I wanted to make up some ground. I pray that my suffering last night was evened out by the rain's positive effect on the wildfires throughout the state.
I finished my near circumnavigation of Twin Lakes in the early morning. I then took the Colorado Trail south, hiking on the ridges of a series of tall peaks. The scenery was dull compared to the usual stunning vistas. The trees hemmed me in, reducing wht view there was.
No sooner had I resigned myself to a dull day than I came over a hump to see the most picturesque valley sprawling beneath. Clear Creek split the floor running east into the reservoir of the same name. Fourteen thousand foot peaks Oxford and Belford stared at me across the chasm.
At bottom I found equally wonderful people to match this paradise. James at the Clear Creek Ranch gave me water and filled my food bag, which was dangerously low considering I won't be able to resupply until Crested Butte. Former AT hiker Dan stopped to offer food, water, and a smoky treat packed into some sort of bowl. Tom paused to ask if I wanted a ride and left considering his own journey on the ADT. A group of forestry service workers halted and thanked me for using the trails they maintain. Trust me, with the awful experiences I had on the uncared for Buckeye Trail I couldn't thank them enough for their work.
Five miles in the valley brought me to Vicksburg, an abandoned mining town from the 19th century. My feet and back were ready to mutiny so I chose a spot just past the ex-town for respite.
15 miles/ 2709 total miles