Sad Partings

A trail junction (09_041)
Day 58 – 6/18/17
Miles – 14.7
Total miles – 817.2

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We are going to Silverton tomorrow. There are two ways to get there. The first is at a trail junction with the Colorado Trail, in 12.2 miles. The second is a dirt road crossing in about 18 miles at Stony Pass. The problem with the first one is that we would have to hike 14 more to a highway and then go into town. Then we would have to hike the same 14 miles to get to the CDT. The problem with the second is that Stony Pass is 29 miles from town, a long hitch on a roadnthat is not traveled often. We have been trying to decide which way to go and we have chosen Stony Pass. We are going to take our chances with a hitch.
This will be the last day we see Treeman and QuickSilver. Perhaps we will bump into them up the trail, but both are strong hikers. Faster than we are. Both are not going to Silverton, they are going to Lake City. To make it before their food runs out, they have to hike 15 miles a day for the next two days. We are very sad to see them go. They have been great company with many laughs for all. Their hearts are huge. We have experienced and navigated the toughest sections the   CDT has to offer together. Many people skip these sections. Together we succeeded. Thank you! Joon will miss her new friends. Who would of thought a gentle giant from Germany and an ex marine officer would become so important to her. Bling has enjoyed hiking out in front with you helping to scout a route through the snow. He too will miss his friends. Mama Raven took her last picture this morning of the three of them standing side by side, trying to figure out what is the best way to go. Tears rolled down her face. You will be missed. Everyday we hiked with you was filled with trail magic!!!
Today’s hiking was harder and easier then the past weeks. We have much less snow, but we have much more runoff. In many places, the trail is a stream with melt water, or we have to hike through very marshy areas. Finding our way through can be difficult. One of the things that is most painful are the willows. They can be anywhere from 2′-10′ high. They overgrow the trail and cover hillsides. When we walk through them, their branches cut and scrap our legs. We try to avoid then buy sometimes we cannot. Today we needed to cross a stream and our only choose was to plow our way through about 50′ of them. It took 20 minutes to do this.
For the most part today’s walking was not hard. We did have one very steep up that took a lot of time, which was up to Hatchback Pass.  There also was one river crossing that was so wide we took off our shoes to do?
We only have 3.7 miles to get to Stony Pass and then we need to get a ride down. I hope it all goes smoothly.

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