John's CDT
Monday, September 20, 2004
Into Grand Lake and Getting Wet

No, I didn't fall into Grand Lake. I hiked into this little town in the rain. It wasn't a very heavy rain, but enough to get everything wet. I was lucky in that it didn't start raining until after I broke camp. I find that I'm sleeping better in my tent. I wake up less. Plus, mornings are more comfortable.

I dropped from the ridge I slept on (which may have been the Divide) into dirt roads in the forest. Soon, I was in more level terrain. I crossed the Colorado River and then was in Rocky Mountain National Park for a few miles. The trail passes the National Park Service's K...Visitor's Center. I ducked in to do a PocketMail round, but dead batteries in my PocketMail modem foiled that effort.

While I was on the phone with David, a bus load of clean, well-pressed people pulled up and unloaded. I said to David, "I look like Bigfoot to these people." The dirty hiker smell alone...

I had my boxes shipped to the Shadowcliff Hostel rather than the PO. I'm not sure why. I ended up carrying my box from the Hostel into town. I was planning on a quick in-and-out: A good meal, no laundry, no shower and a visit to the PO to send stuff out. Unless I could find a cheap hotel.

I dropped my pack and box on a street corner bench on a boardwalk, and began my search for the recommended restaurants and the ultimately elusive cheap hotel room. The hostel is cheap, but not very central.

I was starving, so I had a huge meat meal, including two sides of fresh sautéed spinach and a baked yam, at the Sagebrush. I then did my resupply box in the city park. They have a covered pavilion with benches, so it was perfect. Then I stashed my pack in the library (with permission) and took my extra food, used maps and guidebook pages, and other stuff to the PO to send to points west. I also got a welcome relief: a replacement keyboard. I've had awful luck this trip with my Palm folding keyboards. Luckily, Palm has been good to me. The last one could not type an 'a'. It was incredibly difficult to journal.

On my way back from the PO, I ran into Spur and Apple Pie. One thing lead to another, and now I'm crashing on the floor of their room. I could have hiked out tonight, but it's supposed to start snowing. Why I think it will be any easier to begin hiking after the snow has fallen, I don't know.

I also bought new shoes here. The Adidas I bought in Steamboat are great shoes, but not for backpacking, not for backpacking and snow. I now have some shoes I hope I love.

I had a 14" pizza for dinner which I thoroughly enjoyed. I chose chicken, anchovy, red onion, and spinach as my toppings.

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