trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Straight Creek – seasonal Spring
Mixed forest hiking. Often the Colorado Trail here traverses high on the mountain between alpine meadows and scattered trees. With more good weather, I’d planned to push hard again and hike perhaps 26mi to Taylor Lake. Otherwise I’d need to stop before the last available water at around 20 miles. I met an older couple from Nebraska riding the Continental Divide over a number of years. They’d camped near the first serious bear scat I’d seen in Colorado. Water is short on this high, ridge walking section. Trail angels had left this behind (empty) … … and somebody up day biking left this. At many downhill fallen logs, I took a short rest. One of the few complaints I have about this trail is road walking. Old mining and logging roads are everywhere. There are very few motor vehicles, but I’d be happier if they’d route actual trail to avoid them completely.
Signage is quite good. But it’s possible to get lost for short periods of time. Some hiker had taken the time to post this helpful note. The best sections have open views for long periods. A lovely day to be walking in the mountains. Wildflowers a constant delight. These guys are camped here with motor vehicles. As feared, the skies darkened above the high, exposed ridge I hoped to cross. There’s not much trouble with bears here. But lightning kills hikers every year. When it started to rain about 4pm, I decided to give up my attempt to make it to Taylor Lake.That decision was probably for the best as shinsplints (?) in one leg started to act up. (An old gymnastics injury from my youth.) I’d been pushing too hard with too heavy a pack, I guess.
This would delay my return to Durango by a day. But no big deal. I’d no plane to catch.
Charcoal I’d found on the trail wasn’t actually all that much help getting my fire going. So I cheated with my camp stove. 🙂 more high resolution photos of day 3