We were pretty happy to wake up and have a nice chill start to the day. 45 miles or so of gravel for breakfast. However, when we woke up it was overcast. These Colorado boys knew better than me that if you wake up in overcast chances are you’re going to have rain.
We got to the top of Los Pinos Pass and as we looked south west we were met with a huge wall of storm cloud in the valley below. It didn’t take long to decide to set up the tents again and wait it out. There was no sense in pushing through so early on and being wet for the rest of the day. Especially, when considering we were climbing up to the high point and going to be over 12k by the time we called it a day.
So out came the tents, jet boil, and coffee. We hung out for 5 hrs. I got a nice little nap in and then we were on our way.
The storm passed and the sun came out. Spirits were high as we knocked out the gravel and jumped onto Slumgullion Pass (pavement) before descending then a short climb up to Spring Creek Pass Trail Head where our Wilderness go-around ended and we got back onto the CT.
Side note. This segment, segment 22, is where Russell had to end his solo mission back in 2016. He tried to push through this segment when it was wet and the clay absolutely clogged up his bike and ended up braking his drivetrain. It was wet here again but not to that extent so we soldiered on.
We climbed up off the road and across Jarosa Mesa, which was a cool alpine meadow with an unbelievably arduous rock garden underfoot, or rather tire. This section lasted for about 2 miles and being as it was the end of the day I was happy to get past it.
We were pretty cracked at this point but in need of water before camp so we kept pushing. Finally we crossed a creek but by this point it had started to drizzle, which only added to our state of exhaustion.
We got water and headed into a small patch of forest, literally just looking for a flat spot. We found one amongst the dead fall and called it a night at 11.9k. Tomorrow would bring the high point and completely untouched ground for all of us.