Wednesday, August 13, 2008
CT Day 23: Rolled into Buena Vista
Dave and I woke up early for the 3-4 mile hike out. After a long downhill stretch, sighting a black bear (I think), and crossing Middle Cottonwood Creek, we begin searching for a ride into the sleepy little mountain town of Buena Vista.
The scale of the Collegiate peaks is particularly huge, and these are no exception. A highway rolls out East of us and we began trudging down the highway trying to wave a ride. FINALLY an old man and his little dog pull over and take pity on the thru-hikers.
Now here I am in Buena Vista! Hiked 60 or so miles from Leadville and passed through the Mt. Massive and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Areas. These are some BIG MOUNTAINS! Buena Vista lies to the East of the Collegiate Range in the Arkansas River Valley. Its known for spectacular sunshine, river rafting, and big sky. In many ways, Buena Vista reminds me of the Owen's Valley in California, a wide open valley hemmed in by massive mountains to either side. Even the rain shadow pattern of the Collegiate Peaks mirrors its Sierra Nevada counterpart.
We are also lucky here, as we're staying with longtime family friend, Jennifer Pyle. My parents knew the Pyle family in Denver long before I was ever born, and their daughter, Jennifer Pyle now runs the Bongo Billy's Coffee Shop in Buena Vista. She was kind enough to let us stay with her and her awesome dog, and even let us drive around her old 250 Ford. That's a ride for sure!
Shameless Plug: Check out Jenny's Bongo Billy's Coffee when you get to Buena Vista! You'll know that your great coffee (or sandwich) is produced using sustainable techniques and is just really good. You can find Bongo Billy's on the East side of the highway, when you drive North into town.
From here, Dave and I (and possibly Paul if we locate him) will head further South, leaving the Arkansas Valley. We'll be passing Mt. Princeton, Mt. Antero, and Mt. Shavano before crossing Monarch Pass. I do not expect to have internet access at our Monarch Lodge resupply point.
From Monarch, we enter an 8-9 day, 100 mile stretch to Creede, CO which will be our longest unsupported leg of the journey. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!
I have no idea who these people are, but this is likely to be your response after having Bongo Billy's coffee!
CT Day 24: Leaving Buena Vista
Update on CT Hikers from Andy's Fragments
The Colorado Trail Story