Camp: Pagosa Springs, CO-south of Wolf Creek Pass at CDT mile 700
Last night we had convinced ourselves that climbing up the ski resort just to hike back down wasn’t necessary. We could follow a lower route for the last 5 miles and reach the pass without any extra climbing around in snow. At this point, we are all looking forward to a couple of days in town, away from the snow…away from postholing and with all of the food.
We slept in until 5:30 and took our time getting ready. It was a casual morning, but as soon as we started hiking it was a lot of postholong. It is just plain exhausting to posthole that early in the day (any time of day), and when my mind teetered on the idea of hiking up the ski resort after all, postholing was quick to remind me that it could feasibly take all day to take that route at this point. Then we had to cross two rushing rivers and my mind was set on taking some time to rest in town.
Once we made it around the reservoir to the road it was easy walking to the pass. We followed the road up and then got rides to town pretty fast. It was only about 30 minutes for all 4 of us to score our rides (2 rides total) to town. We found the hotel and reconnected with Tank, Rampaige and Lucky who have been here a couple of days already. We immediately went to breakfast and all of us ordered 2 meals (I had an omelet and a pancake). We all caught up on the last few days, then began getting things done. All of us were motivated to get things done so we could enjoy a full zero with no obligation. A nice trail angel/hiker named Let It Be drove us around to do chores, and we all enjoyed beers at a local brewery afterwards.
Our zero has been lazy and lovely. Pagosa Springs is a great town, I could pictures myself living here. There is a great variety of good food, hot springs, 2 good breweries and beautiful mountain views. Everyone has bottlenecked here as we all need the rest…and the next session is a step up on the intensity scale from the section we just completed. We were able to go to a good outdoor store to upgrade some gear and make some changes. My microspikes have been too big, so I traded Handstand for a smaller pair, I got new tent stakes and one more pair of waterproof socks as well. Not to mention 7 days worth of food…it will be a slow start again!
Anyway, I’m sleepy and lazy in the last hours of my zero. It is time to relish the relaxation and get ready to rev the engine again tomorrow.
Dinner: fresh jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon and barbacoa tacos.