Miles: 12 trail miles and about 10 extra in search of trails and rides

Camp: Steamboat Springs at My CDT mile 1230.2

I woke up a little late this morning, but didn’t worry about getting my miles in. I was goin for 22, just on the other side of the last 12000+ foot mountain we will see on trail. As I started the day, everything felt good and I started having some ambitious thoughts about trying for 30 miles tomorrow. It will be fun to see what I can get done, but by no means is 30 miles necessary. I only accomplished it twice on the PCT…I’m just not a big miles kind of gal, but I feel pretty good.

As I was planning out the rest of the section, I sat to eat second breakfast, a Builders Bar. I took one bite and suddenly felt a lot more crunch than is normal for that kind of bar. A tooth with an old cavity had decided to break in half. I had been noticing extra sensitivity lately and hoped to address it when I got to town, but this begged an earlier solution. The edges were very sharp and the tooth was pretty sensitive to cold and food. I could feel the air on it as I breathed and I hiked on contemplating my options.

There was a road 7.5 miles up trail that I could feasibly hitch to Steamboat early, or I could tough it out for 2 days until I arrived on schedule. As I thought it over I had missed an important turn on trail and didn’t realize it for 2 miles. I had some backtracking to do, and it took a solid 2 hours of zero progress. I was frustrated and upset knowing I had to jump off trail early to go to the dentist. What a drag!

When I finally made it to the road I stopped to think my decision over. It really didn’t take too much thinking, as I truly knew that getting this fixed was now priority number one. If I push on it could get worse and I’ll be in a world of pain with no way out. This was my chance.

A car pulled over and brought me to the next town over, Rand. There was one extra road there which they thought would increase my chances of a ride to Steamboat. Leaving me with a phone number and an offer for a place to stay in case I couldn’t get a ride, the sweet old couple drove off to their cabin. I stood on the side of the road and soon realized that the traffic was infrequent and not interested in offering me a lift. Hours passed, mosquitoes swarmed, a nearby farm clucked and maahed, a fox stalked their chickens and I knew the odds were against me.

I called Tickled Pink and he was able to get off work early (it was 8 pm) to come get me. It would take over an hour, so I decided to at least walk. The mosquitoes were unbearable and the sun was soon to set. I had to move and continue to try and get a ride.

I walked into the night listening to podcasts, and finally Pink came to my rescue at 10pm. We drove to Steamboat where so many of my trail friends were hanging out; Cerveza, Rampage, Tank, LB…it was bittersweet. The hardest part knowing that I am still 2 days behind and everyone is moving forward. It’s great to see everyone, but I know it will mean a tall order of that alone time I seek as they continue to gain ground. It will be nice to be behind the pack for a while, but I’ll eventually miss them all.

For now, I’m happy this option is here. I hope a dentist can see me tomorrow and I can get moving again soon…so many fingers crossed.

Dinner: crackers and a road walk