Zero # 2 in Salida - Should it Stay or Should it Go?

July 12, 2020

Destination: Salida Today's Miles: 0

Start Location: Salida Trip Miles: 251.20

We’re fortunate Mike could bring us the items we stripped from our packs in Buena Vista before setting out for the Collegiate West. The big question now is what, if anything, should we put back in?

I am determined to stay as light as possible and some things certainly seemed more important at the beginning of the trip than they do now that we’re ½ way through.

Like underwear. We both carried a pair of underwear that we never used. Our shorts have liners and legging are by nature designed to go commando. I think it was the idea of not having any underwear that was so foreign - but we’re over it and sent them home.

We took out the 3 AAA replacement batteries we each carry for our headlamps. Funny thing is we seldom use our headlamps. We’re usually in bed before dark and even though we get on the trail early (usually by 6, often earlier) we’ve only been using them a small amount. The hand sanitizer and extra bandana I’ve been carrying didn’t make the cut either.

Bug repellant was also left behind. Being sticky sucks when you can’t take a shower, it is much cleaner/easier to put on rain pants or retreat to the tent. That includes the Thermacell, totally worth carrying when it works but is not reliable at high elevations. We also left our Crocs. Almost all creek crossings have a bridge and we just couldn’t justify the weight.

Our water filtration works well - full size Sawyer Squeeze - but instead of the flimsy bags that come with it we purchased three, 2-liter Cnoc bags which have a roll-top opening and are much easier to fill. They are considerably tougher than Sawyer bags and work perfectly when carrying water for dry camping.

Two other things I would not consider leaving behind are the Six Moon Designs Silver Shadow carbon umbrella (6.8 ounces) works equally well for sun and rain and the Montbell Versalite rain gear (10 ounces/pair) turned out to be a trifecta, protecting us from rain, wind and bugs.

Food was the biggest project of the day. Several items in the resupply need to be changed out, I packed this box three weeks ago at the beginning of our journey and our needs are different from what I thought.

Mostly it’s been simplified. Breakfast is Nido and cereal, every day. Lunch is salami, jerkey or pre-cooked bacon with dehydrated cheese crisps - yum. Dinner is always Ramen with dehydrated meat and veggies from home. In between its Snickers, Honey Stinger Waffles and a variety of protein, granola and nut and seed bars.

That left us with finding a ride back to Monarch Pass in the morning. Mike has to work tomorrow and is heading home tonight. We have no CT shuttle list although we have requested it from the CT Foundation twice via email (two weeks apart) and never received a response. Thank goodness we noticed some chatting on the CT Facebook group and were able to arrange a ride though that avenue. That was a relief.

Everything is lining up well and we went ahead and secured accommodations in Lake City for next weekend. Mike took a box of our extra stuff with him I will pick up later this summer. I guess we’re ‘on our own’ from here on out getting rides.

Thanks Mike for being part of our adventure - love ‘ya brother!