Starting location: Halfmoon Creek Trailhead
Ending location: above Twin Lakes
Distance: 13.5 miles
Elevation gained: 1000 ft
Photo: Twin Lakes general store
1 word summary of the day: resupply!
So I decided to not do the detour route through the Collegiate mountains since the timing was off as to when I'd be hitting the high exposed passes. Instead decided on a slightly shorter and easier day following the CT route.
The first couple of miles were actually quite busy, as the trail headed towards to to of Mt. Elbert, which is the highest mountain in CO and second highest in the contiguous US after Mt. Whitney in CA (which I climbed when I hiked the John Muir trail several years ago. But then we branched off (no 4000 ft climbs for me today!) and wound around the side of the mountain and into the little village of Twin Lakes where I had a food resupply package waiting for me. I hung out there for a hour or so - packing up the new food and enjoying a cold Gatorade and cookie from the store :-)
Then it was 5.5 miles of hellish walking around the lakes - VERY hot again and no shade in sight! This confirms that I'll never be a desert hiker; I can't take this really dry hot heat! But thankfully a shorter day and made camp in the trees above the lake where I'm now enjoying a rest in the shade.