John's CDT
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Leaving Steamboat

I got to the library for 1.5 hours this morning to work on my photos. The reservation system kept on extending my time, pushing me closer and closer to checkout time. I finally had to leave and rush to get out of the room on time. I mailed my many and varied boxes across the street from the hotel.

I returned to Mazzola's for another AYCE lunch. My server, Nick, offered to give me a ride to the pass after his shift. I was happy to accept because it gave me time to journal more and talk on the phone.

The ride in his doorless Jeep up to the pass was memorable. I had a road walk was about all I knew about starting the next section. I wanted to find out more before I set out. I got out of leaving town mode and entered hiking mode. I walked across the street with an eye on an open spot that I could finalize my packing and review the maps. Before I could get to my spot, a man stopped and offered me a ride.

Soon, I was walking east on highway 40, heading toward Colorado highway14, my first junction.

Colorado Highway 14 is a two-lane, virtually shoulder-less highway that is 9.5 miles of the CDT. The first sign I saw was 75 MPH. Great.

Saw large herd of something, either antelope or deer (do deer herd?), small herd of antelope, and a nice herd of elk. The elk were on private land. Very smart elk. The lead male antelope was closest to the road and made a sound to alert the herd to the weird intruder (me). Who knew that antelope made sounds?

Lots of road-kill, big and small, along the road walk.

I'm camped at mile 9 along the road on a flat area above road level. There's lots of traffic for being in the middle of nowhere.

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