Fire update- The West Fork Complex fire still burns, having charred over 90,000 acres near Wolf Creek Pass, where it is only 2% contained.
The front page of Sunday’s Denver Post ran an article about the devastating effect of the fires on South Fork and Creede, towns where I stayed the night just a couple of weeks ago.
On the positive, the Big Meadows fire that has burned 617 acres on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is 95% contained.
However, two new fires have ignited from thunderstorms two nights’ ago.
With 290 of trail miles left to go before the Wyoming border, we plan for two weeks of focused hiking to get to Wyoming, and hope that new fires won’t impact our progress.
People are too good-> Our progress is complicated by unrelenting trail magic. Every time we get ready to move, another great offer pops up from the universe. This has been the case in Salida, Vail, and now Denver. Other hikers consider themselves blessed when they find a can of beer or soda in a stream. We have experienced complete strangers opening their homes to us , handing us the keys to their car, and caring for our welfare on repeated occasions.
Take, yesterday for example. The focus of the day was going to the Colorado Rockies/ San Francisco Giants baseball game. Great seats and a superb game for $15. General Lee told me he’s been to at least 25 major league ball parks and that this one (Coors Field) is the best, after Fenway Park, of course. The encircling views of true snow capped mountains from our upper level seats is astounding.
Louis’s most excellent girlfriend Emmie flew up from Austin to spend a couple of days with him ( and us) here in Denver. After the game, we met her aunt and uncle at a bar who took us on a walking tour of the few remaining undeveloped sections of Denver that included Larimer Street, where Jack Kerouac landed after his first cross country hitching trip in 1945. We ate and drank at Two Brothers, the oldest bar in Denver, where Neil Cassidy washed dishes, and later Kerouac was finely crafting his reputation for drinking and reveling.
I bought a kindle version of On The Road yesterday. Hope I can find time to read it.
Getting cultured->We also visited the DAM ( Denver Museum of Art ) , while we were here for these past four days of rest. I didn’t see even half of the exhibits, but what I did see I enjoyed and took my time understanding. The Native American and Western exhibits held my interest. I also spent extra to be admitted to Nick Cave’s traveling exhibition, which featured his Soundsuits-wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and very trippy.
I saw a couple of books in museum the that I wanted to read later. Out came my iPhone, where I accessed the Goodreads app, and activated the scanning function over the books’ bar codes where I identified these two: “The West: An Illustrated History”and “Stephen Long and American Frontier Exploration.”
Chores-> Many chores today, our last in Denver.
Charging all my devices, for sure( Steripen, camera, ipods, iPhone).
After resupplying at Walmart, where I found some $.68 mini pies, a couple of avocados, roasted shelled nuts,and peanuts in the shell, we stopped at the Jack in the Box, where I ordered my first time in that chain grilled chicken sandwich with curly fries. The food was simple and tasty. I survived fast food once again.
I also washed my down sleeping bag today. Bought some Woolite, found a couple of tennis balls to throw in the drier , and am now hanging near the drier to be sure that the covering of the bag doesn’t melt from excessive heat. I am really looking forward to sleeping in a drool and sweat-stained free cloud of comfort again.
An old friend connects->We have hung out a bit here with Mr. Furious, who lives nearby in Evergreen. He’s been struggling with shin splints, but is signing on to hike with MeGaTex for a while. We’ll be picking him up early tomorrow morning when we get a ride from Theresa back to Gold Hill, where we’ll soon reach over 14,000 feet again as the trail heads up to Grey’s Peak.
I really want to be hiking again. After all this rest and eating, we are in prime shape to hike strongly for a while.