Day 5 – Long Gulch to Kenosha Pass

Hill covered with wildflowers
Hill covered with wildflowers

Day 5 – Tuesday July 7th, 2015

Start Time: 11:26   End Time: 17:50

Miles Hiked: 13.6   Total Miles: 71.7

CT Sections: 5-1.0 > 5-14.6

We received heavy rain all night long, and didn’t get much sleep.  It finally stopped raining around 5:30 when the sun came up, so we threw clothing over our heads and went back to sleep until 9:00.  When we finally left our tent, everything was still wet which made packing difficult.  The rain and high humidity also meant that nothing dried overnight, so our shoes, rain gear, and tent were still drenched.  I put on my only remaining dry pair of socks and we trudged deeper into section 5 toward Kenosha pass and our resupply box via a short hitch to Jefferson.

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush

It wasn’t long before we were once again walking through mud and marshy low areas and the comfort provided by my dry socks was supplanted by wet soggy feet.  Wildflowers through this section were exquisite with hills that appeared painted with bright colors.  We met two older men hiking separately halfway through section 5 named Ray and Gene.  Ray had hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail up to Colorado and thinks the Colorado Trail will be his last thru hike due to his age of 68.

Fairy Trumpet Flowers
Fairy Trumpet Flowers

We contemplated sleeping on the trail one more night, but with our waterlogged feet and wet gear we determined it would be best to spend a night in a hotel in Fairplay and dry out.  When we reached Kenosha Pass, we stuck out our thumbs for a hitch and were picked up by four Texans who were also thru hiking the Colorado Trail.  There were only four available seats in their SUV, so two chose to wait at Kenosha Pass in the rain while the other two drove us 4.5 miles down to Jefferson.  Were were blown away by their kindness and generosity.

We picked up our resupply box from the Jefferson Market and proceeded to the other side of the road for a 15 mile hitch to Fairplay.  A few minutes later we bouncing down the road in an old truck driven by a chatty road construction worker with a dirt bike strapped down in the truck bed.  He dropped us off at the Western Inn where we eagerly claimed the last available room.  We talked with the hotel manager and were given a dinner recommendation to a chinese restaurant a mile down the road.  Absent a car, the hotel manager offered to drive us down to pick up our carry out order…we were very appreciative for the ride and delicious hot meal.

David and Emmy
David and Emmy

Throughout this hike, the kindness and compassion shown by the people we have encountered has restored my faith in humanity.

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