After hiking a total of 13.7 miles for the day, we settled in to our camp perched above Browns Creek and below Jones Peak. We soon heard voices at the creek below, where several people were filling water bottles. It turned out that a group of 50 were setting up camp across the creek. The group was from New Boston, MI and consisted of 13 adults and 37 teenagers from an Adventurers group (co-ed teen explorers). We could see their tents spread out up and down the creek, but didn’t hear a peep from them all night, over the running water from the creek. It was Chinese night at the Camp Cafe and Chicken Teriyaki was the entree of choice.
6/19/19 – I was warmer and slept better than the first night out. For breakfast, I had the Breakfast Skillet option (eggs, sausage, potatoes, onion and peppers). Glenn had a custom made oatmeal, chia seed concoction Mark had made up and shared. We broke camp and again were on the trail by around 8:15. Much of the trail so far has passed through mixed coniferous and aspen trees, with significant beetle killed lodgepole pines in some areas. The remainder of segment 14 was no exception. At several points along the trail we could see the summits of Mount Shavano and other fourteeners as well as the Arkansas River valley to the east and the Mosquito Range on the other side. To the south, the north end of the Sangre de Cristo Range came into view, and Mark pointed out the location of his house near Salida.
Lunch was at the bank of the North Fork of the Arkansas River, near the Angel of Shavano Campground. Again, cheese, sausage and crackers hit the spot, as well as a granola bar or two. After lunch, we made our final climb of the day…600′ over a mile and a half. We then descended gradually to US highway 50 over the next 4 miles, completing segment 14 and covering 13.6 miles for the day.
Mark’s wife, Lesly, and their 5 year old son, Matthew, picked us up and we went to their house in Salida. After a hot shower and pizza at the Moonlight Pizza and Brew Pub, we enjoyed a restful night’s sleep, in a bed. That was a welcome surprise, after 2 nights of camping!
It seemed that we frequently commented that we were losing elevation…only to find it once again on the other side of the drainage . It seemed every creek and drainage was running high with water. Even some drainages that the CT Databook says are questionable water sources ran high and fast with water. We also found several water sources that aren’t in the book.