Colorado Trail Trip Report

Day 2 - Segment 1

7.8 miles

June 6, 2012

Bear Creek to Platte River

Day 2 Profile

CT Day 2
Day 2 Google Maps Terrain
Google Maps Terrain

June 6
Colorado Trail Segment 1
It was windy last night. And warm. Too warm for a sleeping bag. I slept until 9am, so got a late start on the trail. It was a stiff climb after leaving Bear Creek, and then the climb became more gradual as I climbed to 7500 ft. At the top of the summit there is a fantastic spot to stop and have lunch. So I did! Great views.

I only met a couple of people on the trail today. Two bicyclists rode to the top of the 7500 summit, rested and turned around and rode back down. I knew that there would not be any water until I hit the Platte River so I carried 2 liters again. This was almost not enough with the warm temps. The rest of the trail was downhill until I reached the Platte River. As I started hiking down, I met three older day hikers. They looked to be 80+. They were looking for a particular type of flower, and had hiked up from the river to find it. That is amazing. It was a heck of a climb from the river to where I met them. I told them they were only 1/4 mile to the summit, with awesome views, but they were really not interested in views, just that elusive flower!

Just past Bear Creek
Colorado Columbine flower

I liked this part of the hike at around 7000-7500 ft. The smell of the pine needles was strong and the pine trees were a welcome sight. As I descended, the terrain became drier and drier. As I neared the river, I was watching for camping spots. There is no camping allowed along the river, nor any place to camp immediately after crossing the river, so I knew I would be backtracking to find a spot to camp. The only places back up the trail were hot, exposed, full of cacti and UPHILL.

Most of the trail was NOT like this
Random pic

Over a crest
Colorado Trail wildflowers
Getting some great views!

I reached the river at around 3:30pm. This is the end of segment 1 of the Colorado Trail. I took advantage of the river and submerged myself until I was cooled down and a bit cleaner. When I left the water there were dozens of what looked like tiny little leeches hanging on my legs and especially my neoprene booties. Say what? Pretty sure they were not leeches but they were grabbing ahold with their mouth parts and wriggling the rest of themselves back and forth. Pretty gross! No idea what they were.

Platte River in the distance
Platte River
Time for a refreshing swim!

There is an outhouse in the parking lot along the road. Peeked inside. There was a pile of trash knee high with rotting food and things too gross to mention, all piled up inside the outhouse. The stench and flies were horrible. People can really be disgusting at times.

Since I didn't find any decent campsites on the east side of the river, I scouted the west side. There were "No Camping" signs everywhere, and the trail quickly starts a steep ascent. I finally went ahead and camped on the east side, just past the road. Too close to the trail, but it was better than hiking back up the hill. There was no shade at the campsite so I spent the afternoon down by the river. A few people showed up, either to fish or admire the bridge/river.

Two CT thru hikers showed up around 7pm. Nat and Tamara, with their dog Ida, who was my best friend in 30 seconds. This was their first long distance hike, and they were planning around 30 days to complete the trail. I offered to share my space since I knew what the terrain was like farther back up the hill, but I think they were worried about Ida bothering me. I love affectionate dogs so Ida was not a bother at all.

Campsite on the East side of the river
Storm coming???

Thunder clouds have been rolling in all evening. Sure looks like rain. Chicken quesadillas for dinner. Tortillas, chicken (in foil bag), cheese, salsa... melted over my stove... really good. It started to rain as I was finishing dinner. I could hear the thunder and see lightening in the distance. Looked like it was heading my way. Yep. Around 9pm, the heavens opened up and the storm hit with an intensity that was more than a little intimidating. The thunder was crashing and the lightening was brilliant and intense. Less than a second between the two. The rain was pounding my Tarptent in waves. I did get some mist-through that came into the tent, so I don't know if my seal on the seams needs work or if it came through the silnylon. This went on for a couple of hours. It finally let up to a normal rain as the storm passed by. No way I was going to sleep through that!

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