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CDT CO Section 8 Off-trail

Day 26: Silverton

I slept in a bit late in the cold gulch. There was no avoiding the condensation and frost on my tent, so I took some minutes to towel it off as I was packing up. I started walking around 8:30.

It wasn’t very far into town, and soon, I moved from the tracks to a dirt road that diverged to join Greene Street, the main road through town.

It’s not really possible to explain what Silverton is like through description or even to fully capture it in photos. It’s an old gold mining town, and most of the buildings are relics from that time. Now it’s entirely a tourist town. The exteriors are maintained as they were a century or more ago. There’s an old postal coach being pulled around town by two horses. There’s a saloon that operated as a brothel until 1947.

I found my way to the Avon Hotel, a old miner boarding house and brothel. Work was in progress out front, but I stepped inside the lobby which was already filled with hikers: Waldo, Sprouts, Pale Ale, and Boomerang. They pointed me to the showers, so I went ahead and did that. Afterward, I called one of the owners, who told me I would need to wait until 10 for his brother to arrive to check in. Meanwhile, Boomerang brought out a huge breakfast for everyone (but me) of eggs, rice, walnut salad, and crepes. They let me try a crepe with Nutella. It was very nice.

Anyway, just after 10, I checked in with Pat and got access to a triple bunk room on the third floor. At less than 60 bucks, it would be the cheapest thing I got in town.

After putting my pack in the room, I gathered my dirty clothes and went to the laundromat down the street. All the washers were full, so I had 30 minutes to get lunch. I grabbed a shrimp lime chipotle burrito at Coal Bank, then returned just as a washer came free.

While my clothes washed, I worked on the blog and chatted with a couple of grandparents visiting from Missouri. As soon as they were done, I transferred them to a dryer and headed out to do some shopping. I found a nice new pair of socks in one store, but in the thrift store next door, I couldn’t find the new shorts I wanted, but I did find some chips and soda, since the burrito hadn’t really filled me up.

I got back to the laundromat just before my dryer stopped, and immediately changed back into my now-clean hiking clothes.

Back at the hotel, I was taking a break on the bunk when a roommate arrived. A stoner hiker named Levi with a dog. A nice, tired dog who would spend most of the day on his bunk above mine. A few minutes later, I left them to go to the grocery store.

I ended up spending over 100 dollars for 3 days of food. Plus more for new croakies and new shorts. This town was pretty special and it knew it; it was reflected in all the prices.

When I got back to the room, it smelled awful inside, worse than I had left it. It may be just that Levi tokes up every hour or two. I opened the window as wide as it would go and left it like that.

After getting all my food packed up and put away, I headed out to the Avalanche Brewing Company for a pizza. It was dinner rush and it took a while to get the bartender to take my order. The pizza was nice but it could have used some more chicken. The beer was really great though, far better than I expected. An apple IPA that tasted like apples. And also they made a Georgia Peach Mule cocktail that was really amazing.

It was an hour from sunset when I got back from dinner. Sam streamed me some of the seasonal animes I’ve gotten behind on while I sat in a swinging bucket seat on the third floor balcony overlooking a party where people were playing cornhole in the yard next door. The sun went down as my phone slowly died, and then it was time for bed.

It’s a nice little town. I wouldn’t be hurrying to leave in the morning.

Miles hiked: 2?

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