Got up at 7am and packed up and met Keith and Bill for breakfast at the same restaurant as the night before but with even worse service. The waitress literally went out of her way to avoid us. I shit you not. Back to our hotel and our shuttle arrived right on time and up to the trail head. Hopped up on the little bit of coffee I could get from the waitress, I was ready to take off at a run but the 3 of us got into a deep conversation about the Appalachian Trail, so much so that we missed a turn 2.5 miles in and only realized it a mile later when I just happened to check my GPS. We turned around and 5 minutes later met another thru-hiker who had also missed the turn – Jacob, aka Toothpick.

We turned him around and got back to the trail. Jacob hiked with us for a while, happy to have company for once. I really liked him – he thought I was 25. We arrived at the Colorado Trail Yurt by 3:00. Jacob was already there. Storms were moving in. We talked and joked for a while, checked the register and got down to evening chores – filter water, make supper, etc.

Early in the evening, 2 more hikers rolled in – Erin (Nemo) and Chris (Pouch) – 2 Continental Divide Trail hikers with only 22 miles to go before finishing their CDT thru-hike and the Triple Crown (hiking the 2100 mile Appalachian Trail, the 2700 mile Continental Divide Trail, and the 2700 Pacific Crest Trail).

Six people and a dog in the little yurt. Things got lively. Jacob had also hiked the AT and sections of the PCT and Bill and Keith had hike the AT. So they talked about some of the fellow hikers they had in common. Soon Bill and Keith retired to their bunks and the remaining 3 talked about favorite sections of their hikes to which I listened intently and drooled. Things finally settled down around 8 after some comedy with the cots. The storm that had been brewing all day made it’s presence known at the hut shortly before midnight with some heavy hail and lightening.