Colorado Trail Day 23: Hiker’s Yard Sale

We left bright and early. It rained last night again and then cleared up. The cold air settled in the Tank Seven Creek drainage and it is cold and wet. We had quite a few neighbors last night as Tank Seven Creek is the only water for 12 miles in one direction and 11 miles in the other. There are at least 4 other groups of hikers and bikers here.
Tank Seven Meadow in the early morning

We get up early as usual and our breaths are frosty and fingers numb as we eat and pull down camp. The mountain bikers are up early too. They apparently packed too light and weren’t prepared for the cold. One guy tells us they end up walking their bikes at least 50% of the time because of the steepness of the trail. We leapfrog with them all morning as we climb steadily up Sargent’s Mesa. Sargents Mesa is open grass and woods with a gentle incline.

“Wildlife” on the trail on Sargent Mesa
A typical view from Sargent Mesa

Today we have to manage to water. We are depending on making it 14.5 miles with 2 liters each to Razor Creek. If necessary we can hike a 1/2 mile off the trail at mile 11 to Baldy Lake but we don’t want to add any extra miles right now. I am surprised we have to manage to water on the Colorado Trail but it is really not a big deal compared to what we have done at the Grand Canyon. We fill up at Razor Creek as we will not see water again today and will be dry camping tonight. As we each have a 3 liter platypus (for dirty water) and a half liter smartwater bottle we immediately add 7.72 pounds to our packs! Yikes. Luckily, we are down to only a few days food so I am thinking even with the extra 7.72 pounds my pack is still under 30 pounds.  We stop at a saddle on the Continental Divide ridge at around 3:30pm after hiking 18.7 miles. Time to dry things out that had to be packed this morning wet with condensation. Out comes our gear which is now draped haphazardously over everything. No wonder they call it a hiker’s yard sale!

Dusky Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus). These have a deep purple-black color
Our only water today was from Razor Creek
A “hiker’s yard sale”. Trying to dry everything out from this morning’s moisture!
Just the Facts

Total Miles: 18.7
Cumulative Miles: 297.2
Trail Segments: 16 and 17
Camp Elevation: 10599 feet at saddle on continental divide in Gunnison National Forest
Elevation Gain:  2070 feet
Elevation Loss:   2144 feet
Weather: Cold and clear in the morning, Hot and humid in the afternoon, light afternoon showers 

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