Starting location: White Creek Cascade
Ending location: Straight Creek
Distance: 15 miles
Elevation gained: 2600 ft
Photo: view from Bolam pass
1 word summary of the day: Ribs
Today was a pretty mellow day in terms of terrain, with mostly gradual ascents until we hit the final steep section up to Blackhawke pass. At our mid morning snack break we ran into a guy who has been thru-hiking the trail with llamas for the past 6-7 weeks. Unfortunately his llamas were starting to get injured/worn down and the guy he rented them from had no more available so he needed to make a decision as to whether he would be able to do the last 55 miles by himself hauling his own gear-hopefully he makes it as it would be a shame to make it almost all of the way and not be able to finish!
In a fluky accident a couple of days ago I bruised/cracked a rib, so these last few days (and the final 3 days) are not the most comfortable :-(. It hurts when I take a deep breath, which is pretty much whenever I'm going uphill. And it hurts when I'm jarred, which is pretty much whenever I'm going downhill. It's ok on flat sections, but I think that <1% of the trail is actually flat so that doesn't help much :-)
As long as it doesn't get any worse I'll be able to finish the trail, but unfortunately it's not as comfy as I'd like. But overall I haven't really had too many injuries on this hike, so I shouldn't complain. And only one more 12000 ft pass to climb over and it's more downhill into Durango! Should arrive there on Saturday; hopefully in time for lunch. Brandon and Hummingbird will most likely finish on Sunday, do hopefully they'll get off the trail around noon and I can grab a quick lunch/goodbye before I fly back to Denver later that afternoon.