Miles: 15 + a zero
Camp: Salida, CO off of CDT mile 909.25
Elevation at camp: 7083 feet

Woke up at first light and was greeted with one of the finer sunrises on trail. “It’s going to be a good day,” I thought.
Just as I had everything packed and ready, Cloud came walking up on trail. She had been just behind me, and was the first person I had seen in 2 days. We walked together to Marshall Pass where we saw Right On and Cowboy Stripper heading up the trail. It was really feeling like a town day as we all made a good pace onward.

At some point I got ahead of Cloud and ended up eating lunch on a beautiful saddle between 2 mountains. It was only 5 more miles to the road to town and that went really fast. Monarch Pass was a busy place with a touristy store and lots of tourists to fill it up. I ran into Lucky outside and just as we started chatting about going into Salida a man on a motorcycle offered up a ride. I could barely believe it…the mythical motorcycle hitch! I never thought it would happen! So cool!

The ride was super fun down the pass, a good 30 minutes of the wind in my hair. He even dropped me directly at the hostel where it seemed everyone had arrived. I even saw Rampage, Cerveza and one of my favorite trail angels…LB! We all got lots of food and had some beers together…though I left the party early. I was just too tired.

I decided to take a zero here, as I had been trying to get on to Twin Lakes to meet a friend who could no longer make it. That freed up some time and it was a good town to relax in. I got everything taken care, went to a movie with the guys (the new Independence Day) and we all went dancing to a bluegrass band after getting pizza. I also had yet another great box from my friend Elaine, who somehow knew that i just recently started craving ginger snaps. So good, thanks Elaine!

Salida is the biggest town we have been in for a while, so it was nice to enjoy the amenities. It will be a while before we are in another town that has it all and I’m pretty fond of this one. It’s going to be hard to leave, but I must. Salida is on my list of potential relocation spots, but there are still so many cool towns to visit on the Divide…and I am still happy in Portland.

Now the relaxation must end and the hiking must ensue. It felt good to take it easy for a day, but I’m ready to get back on trail.

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Best hitch ever!
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Salida is very artsy
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