As I continue my counter-clockwise loop around southwestern part of the state, I get word that Debbie, along with friends Chuck and Carla, two Lazy Dazers I met last summer in the Pacific Northwest, are on their way down the same path in the opposite direction. I had originally planned to follow the Rio Grande through Creede and on up to Lake City, but I chickened out for two reasons. One, I couldn’t face the reports of 9.4% grade for 7.5 miles of two lane highway. My trusty “Mountain Directory” warns, “This is a very long descent for heavy vehicles and it will require brakes in good repair and adjustment and caution on the part of the driver. There are no runaway truck ramps.” (PUCKER!)
But worse, I couldn’t face the upcoming three day weekend with no internet anywhere in either town, except the library. So I would go around the long way, through Saguache (pronounced “Sa’watch.”) The bonus would be getting to meet up with Debbie, Chuck, and Carla.
When I arrive at the turn-off, Debbie is waiting for me. They have changed locations, as they found one of the most beautiful boondock locations I have ever seen. And we have it all to ourselves! There is only one catch, and it’s a big one. There is no signal. Nada on either Verizon or AT&T. So I plan to only spend one night.
But when I get there, the setting is just too perfect. It is worth the sacrifice for a couple of nights in this idyllic spot. Besides, I cheated. 😉 A hike up the Colorado Trail (which overlaps the Continental Divide Trail) to the LuJan Pass reveals a sweet spot of 4G AT&T, a channel open long enough to get word from home that all is well.
Chuck has hiked a good portion of the Appalachian Trail…more than my paltry few miles through Georgia and parts of North Carolina. We swap section-hiking stories, and he shares some backpacking recipes. I am particularly intrigued by his cocktail recipes using Tang and Koolaid. 😉
While hiking to the top of the pass, we see a 4WD road up the back side of the mountain and small flag stakes with markings similar to those where underground cable is buried. Could it be that a cell tower is not too far in the future? Will we come back next time and find a field full of fire rings?
Solitude comes at a price that is soothed by an interlude with good friends…