Today was a day of hills! This morning we got up early knowing we had a pass to go over. It was pretty exhausting but the feeling at the top is so incredible it’s almost worth it! We had another hill to climb over in the afternoon. I feel like all we do in Colorado is go up one mountain, descend it and then go straight up the next one!
After we reached the high point, we headed down again, then up, then down, then up, then down! It’s insane how many small up and downs there are and how much harder they are to do at altitude! The worst part is that there are so many mosquitos it’s almost impossible to stop. You have to wait till the wind blows and your break can be as long as that gust lasts. Once the wind settles down, the mosquitos are back!
So last night, because the mosquitos were so bad, I cooked in my tent, there was no way I was facing that outside horror. Unfortunately the horror awaiting me in the tent was worse. Once the water had come to a rolling boil (I don’t filter the cooking water) I was putting it out from the pot and had the water landed up on my leg! I have never felt such pain in my life. The searing agony just wouldn’t go away. The thing about burn pain is that the pain doesn’t come in waves but is constant and excruciating. I had no idea what to do. Nothing seemed to be helping. Eventually AJ lent me his Bandana which I studied in cold water and held against my leg until the cloth warmed up. Then I’d hold it in the air to cool down (thankfully it was a chilly night) and put it back on my leg. I continued this process for about 30 minutes until the pain was bearable and I was able to sleep. On top of all that my food tasted terrible that night!
The next morning two massive blisters had formed but thankfully the pain had lessened a lot! I was able to hike just fine and started the day with another uphill. It was a beautiful day and I feel like I’m starting to acclimatise.
In the last town I was the only one to buy bug spray so all three of us have been sharing this one bug spray. Thankfully though it seems to be doing quite a good job. It’s one of those all natural ones so you never know what you’re gonna get.
This afternoon we had a crazy uphill to do and I felt completely exhausted. I was absolutely demotivated at the end of the day and the hundreds of mosquitos didn’t make things any better. There’s still snow on the trail and I kept post holing which just made me more miserable.
Finally camped, and there are so many mosquitos. We’re dressed in full rain gear because the mosquitos can’t bite through that. Thank goodness for the rain gear! Tonight I’m cooking outside and will be very careful about how I pour the hot water!
Tomorrow we’ll be in Salida! Showers and restaurants!