07/18/20 – We all woke well rested after sleeping amidst some oxygen for the first time in 4 nights! After breakfast, we packed up once again and hit the trail. The descending trail continued to be very rugged, with lots of rocks on the trail and several creek crossings, through which most of us got a bit wet! There were also 3 more areas of Avalanche debris that we had to pick our way through, which had the added challenge of wet logs from overnight rain showers. Despite the challenging trail, the scenery continued to be spectacular! Interestingly, we met 2 young ladies hiking the opposite direction who asked us if we’d come from Stoney Pass, and whether or not the sheep were there. Apparently one of them had been attacked by three sheep dogs in 2018. It seems we were fortunate to have run the gauntlet unscathed!
Pond With Arrow and Vestal Peaks in the Background
We completed our descent, and shortly after leaving the Weminuche Wilderness Area, arrived at the train tracks for the Durango and Silverton Railroad at the Animas River. Here, Bruce elected to follow the tracks the 6 miles into Silverton. The railroad isn’t running this summer, due to the forest fire last year and a washout of the tracks this spring. For Lance and I, a 2,000′ ascent loomed over the final 5 miles of Segment 24.
We crossed the bridge over the Animas River and started up the switchbacks. As we climbed, amazing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys emerged.
Animas River Valley with Mount Garfield as the Centerpiece
Lance and I arrived at Molas Pass at about 2:30, where the rest of our group picked us up. We then went into Silverton for a pizza lunch at the Golden Block Brewery. It was very tasty!! We drove together to Montrose, where Glenn and Ashley had left my Explorer. Lance and I continued the trip home in my car, stopping for ice cream and a beverage at Sergeants. We arrived home having thoroughly enjoyed, once again, our Colorado Trail adventure!!
“To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is, to me, impossible.”
John Glenn – radioed from the space shuttle Discovery in 1998 during his return flight to space at age 77 (from the book “Odyssey” by Justin Camp)