CDT day 119: Salida has a soul

August 31
Mileage: 10
2,302 miles hiked

A wind picks up just as I’m falling asleep on the rocky ledge on top of the mountain- woo woo woo! And the yellow moon comes out and it’s not quite cold enough, like probably in the morning the grass won’t be covered in frost, and I’m wearing all my layers and it’s not quite cold enough for that so I don’t sleep very well.

Ten miles to Monarch Pass, where I’ll hitch to Salida! I make a tiny bit of oatmeal in the morning, the last of my food, and heat water for tea. I ran short of food a little this section- I don’t know why that happens, still, even when I feel like I’ve finally got it figured out. I guess it always will. Variables! So I was hungry yesterday and I woke up hungry this morning and I’ll be walking to the highway hungry and I’ve been thinking about spaghetti, with GF pasta and lots of veggies and meat- there’s a hostel in Salida and maybe they have a kitchen and if I stay there maybe this fantasy can become a reality. Maybe.

It only takes me 15 minutes hitching to get a ride into Salida. Ever since I started hiking in a dress it’s been this easy- for better or worse. Salida is soothing and wonderful after a long string of Colorado ski towns- there is no mountain here where one can shred gnar and so as a consequence it is a real town with an actual soul. Set low in some sort of hot valley, full of pubs and failing vintage shops. The hostel is homey and small and nearly empty, so I have one of the bunk rooms all to myself. There is a kitchen. I walk in slow motion to Safeway and select my perfect fantasy pasta ingredients, refusing to let myself think about resupply. That will happen in the morning. Back at the hostel the spaghetti becomes reality, a massive pot of it, and I decide that this is the only thing I will eat until I leave town tomorrow. Then there is laundry and emails and phone calls and blogging and at last a massive sleepiness descends on me.

Photos on instagram