We took the day off. We highlined the horses in the spruce trees beside our tent site, and tied up Rainbow. We went out onto the main road and caught a ride up the Haggarman Pass Road, this being the direction that we’d been planning on riding. Our side-trip confirmed that the pass is also impassable. The motorists were then kind enough to give us a lift to the outskirts of Leadville, where we were offered a ride to town by Gracie Ragland, who was staying in an RV park across the way.
Grace, who has MS and is from Alabama, was in training for the Leadville 100, a strenuous mountain bike ride. Blue eyes, weathered face, thin, lean, and fit. Like the three young peak baggers, Graced is an inspiration to us all.
Afternoon: laundry, checked messages on internet, took showers, and did food shopping. We then stopped in at the Sawatch Backpacking store, where we examined trail maps, first with store employees and then with Jessica, who works for the BLM. Both Jessica and the store employees were incredibly helpful. Jessica helped up chart a new route: We’ll ride along the railroad tracks for a stretch, and then scoot around snow-bound Tennessee Pass, and then eventually drop down through the “back bowls” of Vail ski area.
We ate dinner at Mile High Pizza. Gracie gave us a lift back to our Turquoise Lake campsite. We stopped at her RV park and met her friend John, who offered Pete a beer. I honed in on the weekly RV park ice cream social. Before retiring, we hobbled the horses and watched them graze beneath a rainbow—a sign of good things to come.
Base camp at Turquoise Lake