Sobo Wars – A New Hope?
- CDT Miles: 1,456.7-1,430.2 (26.5)
- Total Hiked: 2,176.1 miles
- Elevation Range: 8,400-10,750
“May the Force be with you.” – Han Solo (Star Wars: A New Hope)
I didn’t know it when I started my day, but I’d be running in the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Ultra Marathon. Yep, you read that right.
The day started much as it had the previous, with me hearing raindrops starting in the 4-5am hour and dreading that it would be another day of rain hiking. It’s easy to fall into that sort of thing, but the reality is, by the time I packed up everything inside and hopped out to quickly take down the tent, it was just drops from the trees.
It was dang cold though. And once again, I’ll say how thankful I am for my mitts (this probs won’t be the last time either). My fingers got icy cold packing and they were nearly instantly healed once inside. Some snow up higher…
I had mostly downhill today, which was awesome. Early on I was hearing a strange noise that to me sounded like a coyote or a dog. I’d learn later from a hunter that it was probably a cow elk. As I was getting closer to the noise, I saw two hunters dunned in camou, sort of crouched down and pointing in the direction of the noise. They then proceeded to stealth walk towards it through the trees. We saw each other, but didn’t talk at all. I didn’t get the feeling they were too excited about my presence. It is a strange thing that I’m out there walking through while others are hunting. If I were them though, I’d get off the dang trail!
After a few miles, I reached a gravel road and saw three guys running up it. They were spread apart. at least one had trekking poles. Curious, I was. Then, they turned where I turned and started going up the hill. I ended up right next to one and asked him if they were part of a race. Yeah he said, it’s the Run Rabbit Run race. I don’t really recall the back and forth, but he explained it was a 100 mile race. Wow! I was amazed. They, and I, were coming up to an aid station at mile 80 I’d learn! Are you kidding me!
I rolled in trying to stay out of the way and not be a hindrance to anyone. Talked to a volunteer writing down stuff, keeping track of different hikers or something, and she explained more about what was going on. This was so cool to me!
They had full on breakfast going on inside the tent, but I pulled myself away. It wasn’t.eant for me. And then, I started my jaunt with the racers. Maybe I wasn’t officially entered and hadn’t already run 80 miles, but I was right there with them. Actually, they were all passing me by.
I talked to a few racers that at times would walk. And I stayed on the race route pretty much til reaching the highway into Steamboat Spring…
Around 10:45am I made it to Fishhook Lake. This was the spot where I camped with Cheer and Snickers last year at the very end of their CDT section. So, I had about 5 or so repeat miles to get to the road leaving here. It’s a very beautiful section…
Then, after passing Dumont Lake by, I suddenly came out to a mass of people…
It was another aid station for the racers, but also a big turnaround point where family and friends could cheer. Once again, I was congratulated as a runner until folks saw my backpack and then gave me confused looks. I told a few I was just that hard core that I wanted more weight. More of a challenge for the 100 miler. Then, after telling them I’m a CDT hiker, there was an “Oh! Well congrats on that, good luck!” Or something like that. Lots of energy and good feels here.
There was still about two miles to get to the highway where I planned to hitch. While hiking this morning I’d been getting cell service and could check the weather. I was doing some looking ahead at the trail and scheming and such. A little traumatized by the raining days this week, I wanted to try and finish the next section before more weather came. Essentially, because of that I made a plan not to stay in Steamboat Springs like usual, but get in, resupply, and get out. Keep moving and get to the next town before rain was forecasted.
Only thing with my plan is it required me to be quick when a lot of it was out of my hands. For instance, didn’t get a ride into town right away. About a 13 mile road walk starts at the highway going ahead, so I just kept going after a bit. It wasn’t til a huge rain cloud started coming overtop me that two guys had mercy and picked me up. Josh and Tim (I think) were my drivers and saved me!
I only took one photo in town and it doesn’t show much. I took it actually because of the van parked… looks like a cousin of my old Volkswagen, Veronica Watson.
Well things in town went pretty good. I went to McDonald’s and got a quick late lunch. Stopped over at the Chamber of Commerce where I went through my pack and laid stuff out to dry quick, and then resupplied at Safeway. Every stop I charged my battery pack. In total, it was maybe 2:30-4:30pm that I did my town stuff and then another hour before I got a ride leaving back up to the trail again.
My driver Chris went out of his way to bring me up there so I at least got him some gas money. It was later than I had hoped, after 6:00pm already, but my plans and ideas were still starting out somewhat on track. Only issue was the road walk and where to camp and it getting dark.
I found a comment in the map app saying that there was a public land “access road” about 6 miles away where one could camp. Set that as my goal and off I went!
It wasn’t an ideal situation and not super safe, but I made it. I had packed a giant sub sandwich, so ate that along the way. The cars and trucks zooming by must be wondering, what is that guy doing!?
I found the road where I was supposed to be able to camp and there was indeed a sign telling it was a public access road however, it also said camping prohibited. Well, I went for it anyways. Through the gate, and then up the road a bit I found a spot to pitch my tent. Looked great to me and I’d be up and leaving before light anyways. I could hear elk bugling and there were really great stars out by this time. The Milky Way was visible as a wide line across the whole sky. I think it was into the tent at 8:30pm or later. Happy to be there after another long day.
Audiobook of the Day
Started “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan.