Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CT: Hanging with Dave in Silverton

I rested from the trail for about a week before we got the call from David. He arrived in Creede 2 days ahead of schedule and expected to be in Silverton in about 4 days. Silverton was now the last and final resupply stop before his final destination in Durango.

David's father Craig Hanson and my own father had loose plans to go see Dave and hike the very last 20 mile segment with him provided he could rendesvous in time for Labor Day Weekend, which was now a week away.

I didn't want to be left out of the party either, so I agreed to join them. I also wanted to see Dave in Silverton and see Paul (now in Durango) before he left to Taiwan to hang out with Ipping and her family.

So I drove up early Tuesday morning to Durango where I met up with Paul for the afternoon. He was taking Ipping to the airport that night, so we didn't have a whole lot of time. But we divided up the huge pile of leftover camping food and spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up. Paul was sorry he couldn't join us for the last segment, as he had changed his plans to leave for Taiwan earlier. He also wasn't confident in his knee yet.

I then took the epic drive over the lofty Molas Pass to the sleepy little town of Silverton where I met up with Dave and met all his new acquaintances and friends from the Trail. We just hung out primarily, there wasn't any real need for me to be there. Dave had been setting a pretty grueling pace since I saw him last, and was eager for a break, so we took a day off and did a little day hiking and driving around Silverton.

We found this old abandoned mine in a deep valley just outside of town. Silverton's mining history was absolutely everywhere. Mining tails and shafts, defunct and still functioning, littered the rugged San Juan mountains in the area. We wanted to explore the shaft, but it was dammed up just past the entrance and draining a huge amount of water. Probably just as well, the water keeping us from the dangers of an old mine shaft where our own common sense and good judgment proved inadequate.
Later that evening, Dave and I met his new Trail friends he'd been leap-frogging with since my departure. Two tall skinny guys were staying next door at Dave's motel. I don't recall their names, but the duo had both earned the trail moniker of "Mama's Boys," as both their mothers were there with them, staying in another room. Their mothers had taken responsibility for their resupply logistics, pickups, and even buying them food and lodging when they got into town. Evidently in towns their mothers were just as much a fixture on the trail as they two hikers themselves!

We also met Elizabeth Perry, who would become Dave's new incidental hiking companion for the upcoming 60 mile stretch to Durango. Dave and Elizabeth had been leapfrogging since Creede, and Dave and I went out to eat with Elizabeth. She entertained us with great stories about her skiing adventures in and around her hometown of Breckenridge. And according to her story, Elizabeth was also making her second attempt on the Colorado Trail.

The following morning, I drove Dave back up to Molas Pass, where he could pick up the trail again. We picked up the resupply box at the Molas Lake Campground where Dave removed the small percentage of food that he would need for the next 5 days. I took the rest with me and headed back to Pagosa Springs to await our parents' respective arrivals and our next rendezvous on the trail at Kennebec Pass, some 20 miles outside Durango. From there, Dave, myself, and both our fathers would hike the remaining 20 miles together.

CT: Chillin' in Pagosa Springs

The Colorado Trail Story

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