Ted and I got out of camp around 7:40 with only a few day hikers passing us by as we packed up. We both agreed it was the best night of sleep we had in a long time, what with the temperature not even dropping below 40 the whole night at that low elevation.
The day’s hike would be short, of course, but it would not be a gimme. The first 9 miles or so were all uphill, a climb of 2000 feet.
I had to interrupt the climb at one point and wander off into the woods, but Ted was nice enough to wait. There were some steep climbs after leaving the trees and we arrived onto a ridge with a view of the entirety of Breckenridge. We kept that view in sight for the next mile or two as we traversed and then climbed the east side of the ridge until we finally reached the high point for the day.
On top of the ridge, above 12000 feet, we took a break in the sun. I ate an entire bag of dried apricots while Ted had his usual lunch.
We started encountering others who had come up the west side of the ridge for the view as we descended. One pair included a very inquisitive guy who seemed kind of a hippy and kept asking questions about the trail that we had no clue how to answer. They also had a dog, Bo, who jumped on us a lot and really wanted the food he smelled in our packs.
We also met a mountain biker climbing the hill from Copper Mountain with a German Shepherd he couldn’t keep up with. It didn’t seem like the most fun section of trail for mountain biking. It was relentlessly steep and occasionally filled with enormous boulders.
Coming down to Copper Mountain, I was in distress and desperately needed a toilet. We came to a parking lot that had one but it was locked. On the other side of the street was a construction site. Luckily, they had left a Porta potty way away from everyone. While he waited, Ted did some research on the stores in the areas of Frisco and Silverthorne. Then we walked to the bus stop in the middle of Copper Mountain. We had to wait there about 20 minutes for the hourly bus.
We needed three busses to get to the hotel, each leaving from right next to where we got off the last, and around 45 minutes in total. And then I went into the hotel, waited for the clerk to be free, tried to check in, found out the clerk didn’t have my reservation, and then found out from Ted that he had just noticed this was the wrong hotel and we wanted the one up the hill.
Finally, a bit after 4, we got checked in, did a little shopping in the hotel store, and carried our stuff up to room 538 (the Nate Silver suite). I got my shower first, then took all our clothes (except for what we were wearing) down to the guest laundry to get a load going.
The wash cycle took forever, so by the time our going out clothes were clean and dry, it was past 7 and we really needed to get going if we wanted to get supper before the restaurant closed. We left the second load (what we were wearing) washing and walked up to the Dillon Dam Brewery.
Why this restaurant in particular? Mainly because they had a 12oz New York Strip on the menu and it had been too long since I had a good steak. But this restaurant had the speediest service I have ever witnessed at a sit-down restaurant. Every order came within 5 minutes of ordering. Beers for both of us. A huge plate of meaty poutine to share. Stakes with mashed potatoes and asparagus for both of us. A cheesecake and a root beer for me for dessert. Yes, I ate that much. I left feeling a bit uncomfortable. Ted left with a box containing half of his entree and confusion as to why he couldn’t eat more in town.
We walked back to the hotel, put the clothes in the dryer, went up, and got ready for bed. I went back down myself later to fetch the clothes from the dryer. Ted seemed nearly asleep already for his part. I took a bit longer, but it wasn’t hard. Hiker midnight was well past and I could hardly keep my eyes open. I turned on a 24 hour stream of lo-fi beats to relax/study to (you know, the kind on YouTube where Shizuku is always writing her novel but never finishing) and drifted off.
Trail miles: 13.7