9/2-3: Zero + 15 mi slack pack

9/2: 3.4 mi (1755.9 – 1759.3)

The patter of rain against our tent fly was nearly a constant all night, and stopped just after we finished a leisurely breakfast that consisted of our last Jumbo Honeybun and Via coffee. We were in no hurry, and actually got to sleep in for a change. Clifford would be meeting us at the Gold Hill Trailhead around 11:30.

For the first time in a long time, we strolled along the trail. No push for miles. No push for time. No push because of weather. We were carefree and stress free. Of course finding out that the CT and CDT share the “Blair Witch Trail” was a little disconcerting.

We descended a meandering switchback that overlooked Breckenridge. Filed past the Tiger Run RV park and threaded our way under a bridge to the Gold Hill Trailhead.

When we got to the trailhead we had ample time to dry out our tent/fly and sleeping bags. People arriving at the trailhead to begin day and Colorado Trail (CT) section hikes looked at us quizically. Two CT section hikers  dropping off a car stopped and chatted with us for quite some time.

By the time Clifford arrived, our “yard sale” chores were done. We had been looking forward to Breckenridge and meeting up with Clifford ever since he sent me a text (August 26th) to let him know when we were approaching Breckenridge.

Clifford took us to his home and laid out a spread of fresh food, which we devoured. As he had some work to do, he let us use his truck to do our “town chores”, that included REI for new shoes and Walmart for resupply food, and the post office. After completing our laundry and taking a glorious shower, we headed out for dinner at Clifford’s favorite Mexican restaurant in Breckenridge, Mi Casa. This was perfect, as we were “jonesing” for good Mexican food. The food and company, did not disappoint.

9/3: 15 mi (1759.6 – 1774.6)

Clifford leading the way.

Because we could, and because Clifford had always wanted to hike this section (Breckenridge ski area to Copper Mtn resort), we slack packed, or rather fast packed this section (to avoid the gathering storm) in record time (6 hours).

The aftermath of the hail. So much for dry shoes.

We did, however, get hailed on in the beginning and poured on toward the end, but avoided being at the top when the thunder rolled through.

It was great having Clifford with us. It was like have a tour guide for the entire hike, pointing out significant ski runs, adjacent mountains and enlightening us on the history, and the plethora of recreational opportunities in the Breckenridge area.

Once back to the house, a few more “chores” (REI had given me the wrong size shoes…I failed to check before leaving the store the day previous), a hot shower and another night out for dinner. Just prior to leaving for dinner, as we came down in our clean hiking “uniform”, Clifford asked if we had any pants. We looked down at our shorts, and replied “This is all the clothes we have. We can put on our rain pants”. Clifford, who is an engineer and an avid outdoorsman, cocked his head (I pictured wheels turning inside his brain), and replied, “Of course you wouldn’t carry pants. No worries. I’ve got the perfect place for us to go.” Once again, our dinner, the company and beverages did not disappoint. I do believe that Clifford (once he retires) is a perfect candidate for a thru-hike.

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