Monday, July 9, 2018

Day 85- Hitchhikers Guide to Colorado

Sunday July 08, 2018
Grand Lake to Steamboat Springs
94 Miles

I am beyond angry right now. I just spent an hour and a half writing a fantastic blog post. Due to some type of glitch while it was posting it was deleted. It is now ten o’clock at night and I don’t think I have it in me to spend another hour and a half rewriting it. 

When I finally woke up this morning I was really dreading the day. I have never tried to hitch so far before. I was trying to be realistic when planning out my day. I really thought it could take between six and eight hours to get to Steamboat. Google maps said it was just under two hours drive time and I doubted I could get there with just one hitch. I really hoped I could make it with two, but I thought that was doubtful. I stayed up late last night trying to finish watching the season finale of West Workd, but I fell asleep halfway through. Since checkout wasn’t until ten o’clock and I didn’t want to start hitching until ten thirty or eleven I decided to sleep in. I didn’t get up until almost nine. I took my time packing up and left the hostel just before ten o’clock. I figured my best bet on getting a hitch was to catch the tourists as they checked out and left town. I stopped by the local coffee shop for a latte and muffin on my way out. I figured the best place to hitch from was on the outskirts of town. I needed to get to Highway 40 West, but that road didn’t run through town. I would have to get to Granby via Highway 34. After watching tins of cars go by for twenty minutes a truck going the opposite direction stopped. It was a local by the name of Bear. He said that I needed to be on the Highway to get a ride and offered to drive me there. I figured he knew what he was talking about and hopped into his truck. He dropped me off on 34 in a great spot. 

It took me about ten minutes of standing on the side of the road with my thumb out before someone stopped. A lady named Linda on her way to work in Granby offered me a ride. She was more than a little strange, but she seemed harmless. I tried to keep up with the conversation, but she was all over the place. I’m pretty sure she was stoned. The ride to Granby was s little less than thirty minutes. I really appreciated the ride and I was even happier when it was over. She dropped me off at the corner of Highway 34 and 40. 34 ended st a T intersection with 40 East and West. I wasn’t sure if I should stay on 34 or get onto 40. I ended up staying on 34, but after twenty minutes I noticed that all of the cars were turning onto 40 East, not West. I decided to get onto 40 West. It was a good decision. I only waited about five minutes before a car stopped. 

Luke was on his way home to Durango. He couldn’t take me all the way to Steamboat, but could get me about thirty miles closer. He was in his late twenties, early thirties and really easy to talk to. I really enjoyed the ride. He dropped me off next to a gas station I. Kremmling, CO. It was an ideal spot because it was on 40 West and next to Interstate 70. The important part of hitching is location. You need to be visible from a distance and you need to find a spot where cars can easy pull over. I had chosen an ideal location. I waited about twenty minutes in the blazing sun without any luck. I decided to walk over to the gas station to pee. I thought about the ting to yogi, but I didn’t think I would have much luck. In the end I went to the bathroom and started back to my spot. Just as I left the gas station I felt a car coming up behind me. I stuck out my thumb as I walked, but didn’t expect that to work. The car slowed down and pulled up next to me. It was an older couple so I really didn’t think they would offer me a ride. That isn’t really the demographic that picks up hitchhikers. I was shocked when they did offer me a ride to Steamboat. They were really nice people visiting from San Antonio. We had a nice chat and it was an enjoyable experience. I really didn’t need to go all the way to Steamboat. The trailhead was located off of the highway, 16 miles before Steamboat. By the time I saw where it was we had already passed it by. I didn’t want to be dropped off on the side of the road past the trailhead, so I just went ahead into town. I had a plan B for getting back to the trail. All in all this was a much better experience than I expected. Things could not have gone more smoothly. 

You might remember trail angel Randy from a few weeks ago. Well I knew that he was in the area so I texted him. He agreed to come pick me up in town and host me for the night. While I waited for him to come and pick me up I went into the grocery store to buy him some beer. He was there to get me within an hour. On our way back up to his campsite, located close to the trail on the highway, we saw a cdt hiker. Randy stopped and offered him a ride. As chance would have it I knew this hiker, Sherwin, from my pct thruhike. We had hid from a thunderstorm in a privy with about eight other hikers. I also saw him again just before the end of the trail. We chatted on the way to dropping him off at his motel. I hope to see him again in the next few days. 

Randy and I caught up at his campsite. He was kind enough to cook me brats for dinner and refused to let me help. After dinner we went to hangout with his neighbors. Nick and Louise were from Miami, but now live in Durango, which is only a few hours from me. We played a domino game called Mexican Train. It was fun to hangout with them and Randy. I felt like a normal car camper for the night. Once back at Randy’s I decided to cowboy camp underneath the awning of his camper. That ended up being a great decision. Not long after setting up the lightning and rain began. I stayed nice and dry. I can’t wait to get back on the trail tomorrow. My wound is healing nicely and the swelling in my knee has gone down considerably. I’m hoping that I can get back to hiking my normal mileage. I have to meet my parents by July 12th in Wyoming. 

Randy’s setup

Chloe searching for dropped food

An amazing human being and fantastic trail angel, Randy

Not as loquacious as the original post, but all of the detail are in there

Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
- Walt Whitman


  1. That was an experience in hitching. Glad it worked out. Thanks again to trail angel, Randy for helping out others. If he moves to different area again maybe you will see him on up the road. It must have been very frustrating to lose all your blog. I know it takes a lot of time for you to update your followers. We are getting closer to our meet up. Glad your knee is doing ok. That was a worry. LU