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Trip Dispatch #54: Monday, July 11: Mitchell to Redcliff: The Men of the Tenth Mountain Division

Today we rode through Camp Hale, home of the Tenth Mountain Division. I was most intrigued by the signage about the mules, which showed a photo of a line of them, walking through a shoveled trench. I would have encouraged Pete to keep shoveling, had I seen this before our attempting to cross Cumberland Pass.

At the far end of Camp Hale was a large herd of sheep, which were being tended to by a man on horseback and a border collie. Rainbow wasn’t at all interested in the proceedings. There were a large number of ATVers in the area. And no wonder—a nearby lodge was renting out the machines.

Camp Hale
Camp Hale

Back onto the railroad tracks. Finally, we were able to ride on a gravel side trail. There was a whitewater river on one side, and rock walls and mine shafts. The sky clouded over, so we stopped and put on rain gear. I’d purchased a pair of rain pants at the Sawatch Backpacking store in Leadville. As the rain pelted my thighs, I was glad to have made this investment.

We took a side trail into Redcliff. On the way there we crossed paths with a fellow who was wearing an orange parka that was partially held together with duct tape. He was carrying several plastic bags laden with food. We chatted with Steve Kline, who after hearing that we were heading to town, offered to let us spend the night at his place.

Steve lived off-the-beaten track, on an undisclosed location. He’d been at his current place of residence for a year-and-a-half, and was in the process of looking for a new job. He, Pete, and I spent the evening around a campfire, talking. I dried my socks on a hot rock, one of them got burnt. I fell asleep listening to the rain pummel the tent walls.

Next: Trip Dispatch #55: Back to Civilization