Thursday, August 9, 2007

Day 4: 7/28/07: Rest!

“How a Rest Day Becomes Not a Rest Day” and Other Interesting Stories

From the cobbly heights of Mount Sherman and hasty departure from camp near Fourmile Campground (Donna needed to return to Boulder for work!), off to Breckenridge for pampering at the Grand Timber Lodge. The joys of ownership include day access to the hot tub, pools, Lodgepole Bar and Restaurant, and most spectacular, the locker room. Ah the locker room – stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer, mouthwash, cleansing soap, deodorant, disinfected combs, tampons and assorted pads, cotton balls, q-tips, a swimsuit spinning dryer, hair dryer and unlimited clean towels and HOT water. After a shower, quick soak in the tub, and another shower, I was ready for the bar to enjoy a happy hour cocktail and promises of “Trout” the rugby player who swears he will meet me on the trail because as Trout says, “Girls who sleep in their cars are sexy”. So, we will seeJ

Dinner at Todd’s was amazing (baked tilapia, corn on the cob, pan seared broccoli, garlic bread and red wine). He refused to let Kim and I help so we didn’t! With 2 glasses of cabernet down and Tour de France coverage showing, I settled in for a cozy night sleeping in my clothes (too lazy to go to the car) on the infamous coffee table. Todd claimed his living room was immaculate but I woke up with crumbs and sand stuck to me freshly moisturized and shaved legs. Crumbs dislodged by a quick shake, off I go to Big O Tires in Frisco! Thinking the worst, I ask if they had time to check my flat tire. But of course! It will be done in half an hour. Serendipitously, WalMart of Frisco shares the parking lot with Big O and provides multiple aisles of redundant product with which to entertain oneself. With newly purchased candy corn in hand, the Big O folks called me into the garage for a consultation. My wounded tire marinated in a tub of water (much like I had done the day previous) with an endless array of bubbles erupting from multiple points on the tire. It was pronounced dead at 11:23 am. With my dad’s voice haunting me, “You have to have a spare, you have to have a spare”, I told Carlos, “I have to have a spare”. He immediately walked to a pile of tires and announced, “This is the same size and similar tread”. “How much?” , I question. He whispers conspiratorially, “It is an expensive tire. For you, don’t worry about it”. After being offered spicy pork tamales with green chile, I skipped into the showroom to pay the bill: $12.64. Yes!

From Frisco to Leadville and a check up on the health of our favorite highest town. Old Leadville conjures up bad memories of nights sleeping on the floor of the Super 8 but today she was downright bustling. Corvettes and Harleys cruised Main Street weaving through a slalom course of pedestrian tourists. She looked good, ol’ Leadville. So this story goes on and if you recall, it is about how rest days end up not being restful. How can this be if I am cozied up in my tent at the North Cottonwood Creek Trailhead listening to the tap dancing raindrops on the fly? It is only 7:15 pm! It all started at the Buena Vista river park and a cute boy. The conversation ended with an invitation to camp with him and friends. Tempting yes. Possible with a 4:30 am wakeup call? Maybe. I volleyed the idea back and forth in a mental Wimbledon and erred on the side of helping the 14er Project continue as planned.

So up a series of Chaffee County roads I drive: 350, 361, 365… up a couple of miles nearing the point the guidebooks say the road changes to “Easy 4WD”. Not so easy. In fact, despite the many driving lessons (see previous entry) provided prior to my leaving the driveway, this road had no such thing as “easy” written on it. After 3 failed attempts, twice backing up due to beefy 4 wheelers hurtling toward me and an ill-fated road building project, I parked. Adrenaline coursed and sweat broke and then, action! The rest day turned into a backpacking trip. 3.25 miles in flipflops carry the new not-so-light Go-lite pack over ruts, stones, mysteriously smooth road even! Eventually, after several conversations with locals (the road has never been this bad) and fellows camped along the road, one offered me a ride. Now I wouldn’t say I was fishing for a ride but you can’t catch a fish unless you put the bait in the water. Scott to the rescue! Maiden (haha) in distress (not really) saved from two more uphill pack-laden miles!

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