That's great advice. Teresa can handle that for sure. Thank you. Keep the advice coming please!
Wow! Well, that explains the mileage.
We all profess to believe the mantra HYOH (Hike Your Own Hike), but....
I urge you to reconsider your aversion to hitching. - CookerHiker
WOW! My exact thoughts too. The plot thickens! Without rides, that's going to entail lengthy and possibly dangerous ill advised round trip road walks into ALL their listed resupply pts but Breckenridge. Even if they took the D&S RR into Silverton and back to the Animas River CT crossing that would entail hauling FULL JUST RESUPPLIED heavy packs up to Molas Pass which IS EXACTLY what I was warning about in a previous post. If I knew this bit of info about the aversion to hitchhiking I would not have gone into such detail about all those worthwhile in-town resupply pts and instead had them resupplying closer to the CT or more often closer or on the CT.
Think about this Daniel. You are adding ABOUT 43 miles to your hike by walking into and out from the resupply pts you've chosen which will entail about 3 days when you've already mentioned Teresa and you are on a tight time schedule! I KNOW I could find MUCH MORE constructive ways to spend my time on a CT thru than walking to and from resupply pts To each their own though.
One point about Timing... Looking at Cookie's journal, he started in late July, right smack dab in the middle of the monsoon season, yes, practically guaranteed to have thunderstorms every afternoon. Mid-late June into early July is THE best time in the CO high country (IMHO), tons of daylight plus you have the best chance of completely clear days. I'm not saying you won't have to worry about T-storms, just that your odds are better starting in June, just like you are. Also: I would make the extra 5-6 hour effort to climb Elbert, the highest point in the state and 2nd highest in the lower 48. Elbert's trail is fantastic, easy to follow, gentle slope, don't skip it. If you partner gets too fatigued, she can rest at treeline while you summit and return. But by this time, you';ll both be in great shape. BTW: there are some fantastic campsites at 11,500' or so, just before you leave the trees. Leaving the CT for the Elbert side trip, it's kinda steep right away, but lays back much more gently after a mile or so. You might have some patchy snow in early July, depending on how this spring's snow pack shapes up.
I was told by one of the locals that we missed the peak of the "monsoon" season which occurred supposedly in earlier July. In any case, we picked our July 24 start based on our best times to hike.
And the worst rains during the day while hiking occurred in the last stretch - Silverton to Durango - in late August. Go figure. Our Silverton shuttler told us we probably wouldn't have much rain.
Not sure where those locals get their info, but August in the San Juans is soaking wet, and the Monsoons in Colorado START in mid July, that's not when they end. Here is a quote from here:
Originally Posted by Cookerhiker
"For western Colorado and eastern Utah, the Southwest Monsoon generally begins around the second week of July. An area of High pressure usually "breaks away" from the main Pacific ridge and settles in over the Great Basin by June, bringing hot temperatures during June and early July. As this High center moves eastward across the Continental Divide and into the Central Plains, a slightly cooler but much more moist environment will prevail in the southwest flow behind the High. In most years, the monsoon is over by the end of August...but can last as late as October. ( In fact, many areas in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah experience a secondary precipitation maximum in October due to late-season tropical storm moisture that's been carried northward by the monsoonal flow )."
I'm not saying you didn't go at a good time, it's all good, just that late June and into early July is a better weather time overall in Colorado. By the time Daniel gets down into the San Juans, he will have the monsoons to deal with.
I'm becoming a fan. CR is spot on about the weather.
I just did the CT as a thru in mid Sep- mid Oct 2012. Personally, I would not want to be on the CT thruing in late summer because of the crowds in some sections and the greater possibility of lightning at altitude. I rather enjoy ridgeline walks in fairer weather
Rob, that's good to know. I really couldn't (and didn't) complain about the July rains but I was surprised by the San Juan rains - not merely because we had them, but because some of them started earlier in the day.
Originally Posted by colorado_rob
I couldn't find this level of detail on Mags' site. It would be a very useful addition.
Great info on the rain guys.
Unfortunately, I must be back at work by August 5th at 9am. So my window between the snow pack melting and school starting is narrow. I'll just have to deal with the rain the best I can. I'm considering putting a lightweight tarp in my dogs backpack, which could be used in case she gets too stinky for the tent, or if we want rain protection without setting up the tent.
Back to the hitching... If someone offers a ride, I'll take it. If a business or shuttle service can drive me to/from the TH, I'll take it. I'm just not a fan of asking for rides from random people unless it's an emergency. I like to save those measures for desperate times. Also, I suspect most people wouldn't want to give to stinky hikers and a stinky dog a ride.
Dogwood, I guess you must have missed it. The only resupply town I currently plan on walking back from is Buena Vista. CH said I can call and get a ride to Salida, which would be wonderful.
Daniel, I can be strongly opinionated about hiking issues. It should be obvious that I love hiking, the connection with the wilderness, sharing what I've learned, and getting others interested in the outdoors off the couch and from in front of the TV, computer, etc. It has always been my goal to "Pay It Forward" as I've never forgotten how much other conscientious hikers who have come before me have paved the way for me. It's my goal not for you to hike like I hike but enabling you to possibly better enjoy your own hike. It's your hike. Set it up as you want. I just wanted to fill in some blank spots for you based on the fact that I've had to learn from the MANY self inflicted hiking issues I've had to address and by noticing some of the issues other hikers have had to overcome. I thought I could offer some constructive options and possibly some better ways of proceeding FOR YOU ON YOUR HIKE but even if you don't agree or take even one of my suggestions that's OK. HYOH. Have fun out there.
As for my dog, she's a year old Labrador Retriever. She is, and has always been, a super athlete. She's 80 lbs, (Totally aware that female labs shouldn't weigh this much) but her ribs still show in the right light, with the steep upwardly sloped abdomen. Random people tell me to feed her more sometimes, but trust me: I feed her plenty, she just keeps growing. She carries her backpack on every run, including my weekly long runs (13 miles) and she seems totally unfazed after each run, to the point of, after our runs, I take off her pack and play fetch off of the side of a big hill for 30 more minutes. Even then, she's still hyper active. Tried letting her follow me behind my car while it was too cold for me to run. She ran for 10 miles at 15mph before she showed any signs of fatigue. (slowed down to a fast trot) Once we got back home, she got the ball and dropped it at my feet (asking to play fetch) I've taken her to the black hills a few times. She climbed the narrow and slippery stairs to the top of Harney Peak like a pro. Adaptive, agile and full of energy it have no doubt she'll be the best backpacker among us.
Her pack is 19 liters. Tested it with dog food only. It can hold 17 lbs worth of food. I plan to only take enough food to make it to the next resupply point. Which depends on the calorie content of the food we can find at resupply points. I also plan to pack a liter of water in her pack and dog boots, for incase we walk on rough terrain or she cuts her foot. The tarp can fit, still debating on whether or not we need it.
OK, one last hitching story relative to "stinky hikers" - usually one assumes that the last drivers willing to pick up stinky hikers would be vacationing families with children. Well on the CT hike, not once but twice, us 2 stinky scruffy bearded hikers received rides from vacationing families. On one of them, there were 3 kids, one of whom sat on her mother's lap with the other 2 wedged between my hiking partner and me.
And what about timid old people? An elderly couple - ranchers from Nebraska - picked up me and a woman hiker we had been with for a week. Their initial apprehension finally eased towards the end of the ride.
Oh, and our first ride was from a young homeless guy living out of his car with his dog. He could use the gas money we gave him.
Daniel, best of luck and success to you.
Thanks guys, but please don't run off. I'll still need your help as I get closer to final packing list and a final itinerary. I still need to call the known shuttles and see what their dog policy is. Still need to test some gear. Still need advice on exercises Teresa and I can do to get in shape. Weve
I wasn't ready to post the last reply. Must have clicked the wrong button. Lately we've just been walking up our local hills with packs or walking on the rough unused train tracks to build ankle strength.
We won't and at some point, Mags and Bear Creek will chime in - they know a heckova lot more than me.
Originally Posted by Daniel Fisher
Just holler if you need any logistical information when you get closer... I've lived here 35 years and if I know anything at all, I know the CO high country. Don't sweat the Rain thing; you're actually coming at the best time, as I said earlier.
Originally Posted by Daniel Fisher
Any concerns about taking a dog? This is what I have:
Start the CT from Indian Creek TH
Leashed in wilderness areas
Under control when passing hikers, especially horses.
Trowel her poop
Remove her pack when on dangerous parts of the trail (Are there any dangerous parts of the CT?)
Filter her water as well
Keep her out of drinking stops
Anything else? I've found that Seven doesn't bark at people if we continue walking towards and past them. If we stop and wait for them to approach us, she gets nervous and may let out a few barks. So I usually don't yield to other hikers unless there's a greater concern than barking. With horses, I plan to yield to them, and get off the trail completely. I suspect Seven would try to smell them, which they probably wouldn't like.
All good advice above. Suggest you check Dirty Girl Gaiters---very light weight and large style choice.
Not to belabor the point, but some of my most memorable encounters were with the folks that picked me up when I hitched into resupply towns---plus, it's usually easier to get a ride when there's a lady at yoir side.
For clean underwear and socks, rinse out today's pair in the evening and safety pin (I use 2) to back of your pack. They'll usually be dry by noon.
I'm planning a CT thruhike this summer with a modified itinerary to take me on a loop over Greys and Torries Peaks on the CDT. Haven't decided on a start date yet, but this is a low snow year so I might opt for a mid june start and see you out there
Last edited by handlebar; 03-19-2013 at 18:54.
You may be obsessing too much about this. Clean up her poop and keep her under control. The on-leash in wilderness rule only applies on the eastern side of the divide. The streams are moving quickly and if she gets in the creek to cool off it won't harm anything. I wouldn't worry about filtering her water unless it is from beaver ponds or or other standing water. She's going to drink when you hit water on a hot day so just let her.
Originally Posted by Daniel Fisher
You need to be careful to not overload her or she will get raw spots and sore feet. Take some dog foot protection in case her feet get raw. Don't do 20 mile days right off the bat, but start a bit slower. That's probably good advice for you as well.
It's very rewarding to hike with a dog but it doesn't always work out. You might consider having someone lined up to pick her up if it's a big disaster.
Anyone think it would be too challenging to put all of my listed gear in/on an Osprey Atmos 65? I'd like to drop over a pound and gain the suspended mesh panel.
If so, is there any way to return a barely used Osprey Aether 85 bought from amazon on Dec 15th? It's just too big. And I feel in love with my friends suspended mesh panel, now I must have one.
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