Miner Creek(1228.4) to Gold Hill TH(1233.5) 5.1
Total Miles: 1305.1
Elevation: 9,700 feet
Before I get started on the last few days I wanted to give a shoutout to Anita Watts. She is preparing to go on a hike in Ireland. Anita has been a great supporter of mine and I wanted to wish her luck before she goes. Anita, have a blast in Ireland. I can’t wait to hear all about it
I stayed nice and warm last night. It has been a nice change to have a few nights of every week where this happens. I was so excited to see my Aunt and Uncle today that I didn’t even hit the snooze button, another rare thing on this trail. My back was extremely tight and I thought I might need extra time to make it to our meeting spot on time. The force was with me and I shouldn’t have worried. The trail was pretty easy and I made it there with two minutes to spare. As luck would have it BFG and School House Rock(my Aunt and Uncle) were also two minutes early. Turtle and I were greeted with coffee and pastries. BFG and School House Rock(SHR) were given nice big stinky hugs.
Not exactly a scenic morning
As Turtle and I ate our pastries and drank our coffee a few other hikers showed up. We had a few extra pastries so we shared. Shortly after our first breakfast BFG and SHR whisked us away to the town of Breckenridge. BFG has done some early scouting and found a restaurant with the highest reviewed breakfast burrito in town. They know me so well. I ordered something called the hangover burrito. It was a giant burrito with chorizo, eggs, hash browns, and corn beef hash inside, topped with green chili hash. It was huge and delicious. I couldn’t even finish it.
With food taken care of we went back to the hotel. By hiker standards this place was like the Ritz Carlton. Turtle and I took turns taking a shower and then did laundry. We showered in BFG and SHR’s room while we waited for our check in. I didn’t want to stink up their room with my nasty shoes, so I did what any normal person would do.... I put them in the dishwasher. I figured a dishwasher must be an airtight system. It seemed to have worked.
Great way to contain smells
SHR has thought of everything when it came to our laundry needs. She brought us clothes to wear so we could wash everything. Not only did she remember the laundry detergent, but also thought to bring quarters. While the laundry was going BFG, SHR, and I had a wonderful visit. I haven’t seen them since we were in Rome together last summer. We had a lot to catch up on. Once laundry was done we went in search of lunch. We ended up at Breckenridge Brewery right next door to the hotel. I first discovered this brewery in Tampa, FL. They have an amazing Vanilla Porter and I was excited to visit the brewery. I had a 50/50 burger, sorry I forgot to take a picture. The patty was 50% beef and 50% bacon. It was served with a whole avocado, carmelized onions, and a shiracha mayo. I was in heaven. Since I was feeling a little dehydrated I decided to order a 5oz vanilla porter. I thought that was a sensible decision. After lunch we retired to our own rooms to nap. I was pretty dang tired, but just couldn’t fall asleep. I was feeling a little off. I just chalked it up to eating too much food. Once BFG and SHR woke up, BFG drove us to the store to resupply. I think it is safe to say after 2.5 long distance trails I have this down to a science. I’m hopeful that this time around I managed to buy just the right amount of food. I even bought a few treats to have in the room for the next few days. I have been lacking in the Häagen-Dazs department on this trail.
They were out of Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Buzz Buzz
Once back to the hotel I went upstairs to visit with BFG and SHR. The college World Series was on, so we watched that while we visited. SHR and BFG are from Omaha, Nebraska were they play the college World Series. Arkansas really screwed up and lost the game on an easy play that would have won them the series. It was heartbreaking to watch.
Living the life at a Residence Inn
In retrospect I should have realized that something was wrong that night. My appetite was slightly off, I couldn’t nap, and when I did get up I was chilled. After the game was over I retired to my room for bed, but once again sleep eluded me. It took me hours before I drifted off. I woke up in the morning stoked for a zero day with family. We met for a nice hot breakfast in the lobby. Most people might not have been too impressed by the continental breakfast being offered, but Turtle and I were pleased. We are used to getting cereal and a muffin if we are lucky. The Residents Inn had a waffle maker(I could almost leave it at that), eggs, sausage, bacon, hot cereal, regular cereal, muffins, pastries, bagels, fruit, iced coffee, juices, and regular coffee with flavored syrups as an option. I was a happy hiker. After stuffing myself I went to the room to organize my food. I wanted to ensure that I didn’t overlook anything. SHR and I went to do a little window shopping, but mainly we just wanted a change of scenery while we chatted away. Turtle snuck away to get his haircut and neck beard trimmed. BFG wandered the streets, probably making new friends. My uncle can’t take more than a few steps without becoming best friends with everyone in the vicinity. SHR was feeling the lack of oxygen that comes from being at 10,000 feet. I left her parked in a chair while I went in search of a new pair of Darn Tough socks. I don’t need them now, but I can send them home with SHR and BFG for my parents to pick up on their way to see me next month. I spotted Turtle in the barber shop. I tried to convince his hair stylist to shave a giant T in the back of his head, but she didn’t go for it. I found my socks at a great outfitters called, Mountain Outfitter. If you find yourself in Breckenridge and need some hiking supplies check them out.
Cute old Victorian house turned into a store
Right around this point in my story I really should have know something was wrong. We all met back up for lunch and I was the only one who wasn’t hungry. I decided to order my lunch togo, while everyone else ate their food enthusiastically. My stomach was really upset and I had no energy. I thought I just overate at breakfast.
Mad selfie skills
Park and river area
After lunch we strolled around by the park and river. I was just exhausted and really just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep. The river and park area didn’t really seem to hold anyone’s attention so we returned to the hotel shortly later. We all decided that naps were in order. Once again I just couldn’t sleep. I laid in bed for almost 3 hours. When I finally got up to go to my Aunt and Uncle’s room I felt pretty horrible. I was running a low grade fever and just felt off. I didn’t feel horribly sick, but I didn’t feel well. With the baseball game on in the background and me bundled up in bed, we visited some more. Turtle stayed behind in my room and luxuriated in some alone time, a real treat on the trail. I’m not sure what caused my abrupt change in health. My stomach was upset, but nothing horrible. I had a temperature, but it was very low grade. I had no other symptoms that anything was really badly wrong. I started to think I might need another day of rest and perhaps to see a doctor. We finished watching the ball game and I returned to my room. Turtle was still awake, probably due to his five hour nap, but all I wanted was to sleep. Once again I tossed and turned for hours. Finally I got up and took some ibuprofen. I should have done that earlier. Once my fever was reduced I fell right asleep. I slept soundly until the morning.
Yoda, School House Rock, and BFG during our afternoon stroll
I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt this morning. I got up and took a hot shower before going down for breakfast. I was still a little shaky and kind of sweaty. I wasn’t sure how much of that was from skipping lunch, dinner, and the hot shower. I had a bagel with sausage for breakfast and that seemed to go down ok. Ultimately I decided that I just didn’t have any energy and another zero day was in order. No since going off into the backcountry feeling less than 100% if I didn’t have to. SHR and BFG were awesome. They agreed that we should spend another day together and that I should rest. Turtle had skipped breakfast because he was, you guessed it, still sleeping. After breakfast all I really wanted to do was sleep, but Turtle was awake by then and I couldn’t get to sleep right away. Finally I managed to drift off for a little bit. I think I slept for a few hours before I heard Turtle in the bathroom taking a bath. After that I was up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Dang it! All I wanted to do was sleep! I was so frustrated I could almost have cried.
BFG and SHR left me to my own devices so that I could rest. They went to check lake Dillion. I’m glad they had a good time. Since I couldn’t get any sleep I decided to catch up on watching WestWorld. I knocked out an episode before Turtle went to lunch. While he was gone I managed to get another nap in and I finally started to feeling better. I think just maybe my body was saying that it needed some more rest. As the day progressed and I got a little bit more sleep here and there I felt better. Turtle was nice enough to pick me up something for lunch on his way back to the hotel. As I ate I watched another few episodes of West World.
Once BFG and SHR came back from the lake and took naps I went upstairs to check in. They suggested we go for dinner if I was up to it. I was feeling much better, but not very hungry. I went along to stretch my legs and keep them company. Turtle was hungry again and finally ready to leave the room. We went to a pizza shop about half a mile away. They all seemed to enjoy their dinner and I was happy for the fresh air. We had a pleasant evening out. When we returned to the hotel I went upstairs to hangout with my Aunt and Uncle while Turtle chilled in my room. I think he has enjoyed being lazy for three days. There might just be a Turtle sized impression permanently lodged in the bed.
I’m feeling much better as I write this blog. Whatever was going on has seemed to have run its course. I’m especially greatful for such an amazing visit with my Aunt and Uncle. Ever since I was born my Aunt has always made an effort to be there for me. As soon as my Uncle joined the family he has embraced me as well. For my entire life they have never missed a Christmas or special family event. I have always been able to count on them to take a huge interest in my life. On the Appalachian Trail they drove from Nebraska to New Hampshire just to visit me on the trail. I’m glad this visit was a little closer to home for them. I can never thank them enough for playing such a special role in my life.
“Relax and refuse to let worry and stress rule your life. There is always a solution to every problem. Things will work out for you when you take time to relax, refresh, restore and recharge your soul.”
- Lailah Gifty Akita