Starting location: Middle Mineral Creek
Ending location: Headwaters for Big Buck Creek
Distance: 20 miles
Elevation gained: 3200 ft
Photo: forbidding looking view before reaching Snow Mesa
1 word summary of the day: barren
Today is the day that we crossed the 11 mile Snow Mesa, and of course the weather was horrid:-). High winds, lots of ominous looking clouds, cold, but at least the storms held off until we were down. The Snow Mesa is really just a big barren table mountain that is above the treelike and hence totally exposed in storms. It was quite something to see on the approach to the top-some steep climbs followed by lots of contouring around the side of mountains. And once we actually reached the Mesa, very flat with views far into the distance range of mountains.
We finished the 11 mile crossing just after 11am (thank goodness I was feeling stronger today - must have just been the altitude yesterday) and stopped at the trailhead for lunch - there was a day use are there with picnic tables so for once I didn't have to sit on the ground! Then about 20 minutes into the afternoon hike the skies finally opened up and provided rain, hail, thunder, lightening: the usual. Luckily it only lasted about an hour and the rest of the hike was dry.
Got to camp just before 4pm after a long ~20 mile day, and who did we see at camp but Wonder! We had left her several days ago to head into Gunnison to resupply, but have now caught up again as she was in Lake City for a resupply. She's aiming to finish the trail one day before me, so not sure that we'll hike together for the rest of the trail, but hopefully for a couple days at least.
I can't believe that there's really just over a week left: the hike has gone both slowly and quickly. Essentially I have 2.5 days to get to Silverton, pick up my last resupply there, then it's only another 5 days to get to Durango to finish the Colorado Trail! I've got to say that I'm looking forward to sleeping in a bed again and wearing different clothes, but it's going to be hard to get back to work after 5 weeks off!