Sawtooth

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After picking up my food box at the post office at 7:30 I stopped by the local camp gear place to see if they had some items I wanted {no}, packed up, and headed out. At a convenience store on the outskirts of town a guy introduced himself as a former local trail angel, before he lost his house, and he advised on the best place to hitch.
After holding up my “Hiker to Trail” sign for only 10 minutes, Travis stopped his van for me. He is doing some construction work now, but has an opportunity to teach outdoor skills at a tiny liberal arts college, Wyoming Catholic College, where he recently graduated. He got a backpacking instruction certificate at an outdoor skills school where he worked.
Near Wolf Creek Pass summit we saw some cyclists and marveled at the effort of their climb.
After the road angel departed and I was readying my pack, a group of the cyclists reached the top, and each one in turn asked me to take a photo on their smart phones.

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Started on the trail at 10:30, alternating dry sections of path with snow and swamp, depending on what side of the mountain the trail was using. In places the path was badly eroded, and one could see water bars and other trail engineering features that where not working properly to get water off the trail. This is no complaint, just interesting to see how some trail building techniques work. Colorado was early in getting their section of CDT established, and kudos to them.
At this lower elevation the beetle kill is extensive.

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The color in the photos is not washed out, those are dead trees.

At Spotted Lake many trout played around the outlet.

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In late afternoon Mouse and Flower passed me. Mouse is thru-hiking, and is going really fast, and will not stop in Lake City. He says the main group of hikers is at Salida, moving slow.
Flower started in Grants, and is out for 9 weeks, however far that takes her.

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As we were entering the Sawtooth Trail, on a ridge that goes up and down with great visibility,  they were still visible in the distance for some time.
Stopped at the end of the Sawtooth at 8:00, a late day for me.

Day 6, 6/23/2014 Monday
Start leave Pagosa Springs to Wolf Creek Pass mile 850, altitude 10859
End near terminus of Sawtooth Trail, mile 867, elevation 11680

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at sagebrush.com, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.