Miles: 9

Camp: Steamboat Springs at my CDT mile 1239.2

First thing in the morning I called around to all of the dentists in town. I couldn’t get an appointment for 2 days which was discouraging, knowing I had to take care of the problem ASAP. I found it confusing that no dentist in town saw my situation as urgent…but that seemed to be the case. Eventually I got squeezed in with an office that seemed to care that I was in a pickle. Thank you High Country Dentistry!

The dentist was able to reconstruct the tooth and warned that I had been super close to a root canal. The tooth broke just shy of the nerve, so had I continued to hike and eat on it, I would have been in a world of hurt. I was relieved that I hadn’t pushed it too far and that I didn’t need any major work done…not to say that it didn’t wipe out half a months worth of my budget…but I’ll deal with that later.

The next morning I drove everyone else back to the trail and decided to walk some miles myself. There was a 9 mile road walk I had to do, so why not do it without a pack? I got it done in just over 2 hours and got a really cool hitch back to the truck (Pink had let me borrow his truck for the day while he was at work). My hitch was in a semi truck from 1988…a local man transporting hay. It was nice to feel some forward progress since I left the trail a little early. It takes a chunk out of the miles I have yet to do…and road walk miles no less.

I then decided to stay a few more days to feel out the tooth and get things taken care of. I looked at the opportunity to catch up on errands I had been putting off for a while and to spend time with Pink. I’ve watched many of my friends come and go, the distance between us all constantly growing. I’ve been able to put together some logistics for the rest of the hike, eat good homemade food, get good sleep and all around relax. Pink has a collection of inner tubes and lives directly on the Yampa River…so there has been some fun floats as well.

I have never taken this many zeroes at once, but I think it has been a good recharge for the remainder of the trail. I’ll have to make some solid miles to make up the lost time, but I think that should be easy as I get to the Great Basin. 

I had to have the dentist file down the tooth a bit more before heading out, so I went back this morning. As he was fixing it he noticed the filling in the tooth next to it was coming loose. He fixed that as well, hopefully setting me up for a better second half of the trail. More money spent, I can’t say I’m not a little stressed, but what else could I do? 

As a storm was rolling in, I decided to accept a late ride from Pink to the trail. He worked until 7:00 and then drove me all of the way to where I got off trail. No 64 mile hitch for me! Pink has really come through for me this week and I feel pretty lucky to have him in my life. This could have been a whole lot more expensive/stressful without him, so three cheers for Tickled Pink!

As we drove to the pass, we watched a lightning show in the clouds ahead. It was 9:00 and growing extra dark. There were storms all around and we kept moving towards them. I was a little nervous, but knew I couldn’t turn back now. This was it. Fortunately, the storm wasn’t on the pass, so I hiked a short distance from the road to set up late camp. Time to get back to the business that I’m here for, time to hike.

Dinner: pizza

Myself with Tickled Pink and Twigg
I had just devoured a $6 cinnamon roll.