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GDMBR Chapter 2

Platoro, CO, to Del Norte, CO

Day 3 was a zero day... I ended up staying in Platoro two nights to wait out a crazy thunder snowstorm with gale-force winds and temps that dropped well below freezing.

On Tuesday before the weather turned, I took a little day trip to explore Platoro Reservoir, which was beautiful and quite large!

During the day I took time to paint and visited with the dozen or so CDT thru hikers who retreated from the mountains seeking shelter from the snowstorm.

Around 2:30p, the sky turned black and a horrendous thunder/lightning/wind/snowstorm ensued... I'd never seen anything like it before. I was in bed by 8:00p.

On Wednesday morning, Michael made us all breakfast burritos and coffee and we got on the trail again!

I passed several of the thru hikers from Platoro, who decided to follow the road/GDMBR route for a while to avoid the snow on the CDT.

While I only climbed about 4,200 ft, most of it was above 10,000 ft and I found myself exhausting unusually quickly. I felt like I was gasping for air much of the time and had to take a lot of breaks.

On my way up Stunner Pass, there was a brief decent that had me riding in a slick water and mud-filled rut flanked by snow. A group of people in three ATVs stopped to let me pass... and although I'm pretty sure no one expected me to get through it without falling, I miraculously made it and we all let out some hollers and, "Woohoo's!"

Once I made it to the top of Indiana Pass, at 12,000 ft, it was nearly all downhill to the town of Del Norte.

I rolled in about 5:30p and stopped at Three Barrels Brewery for a salad pizza and beer!

Despite having eaten myself into a food coma and being a wee tipsy from the one beer, I still had six miles to ride to my campsite at Elephant Rock (thanks for the recommendation, Jazz!).

Sleeping without my rainfly on again tonight so I can enjoy this beautiful clear night sky before another long day tomorrow!

Oh yesterday I was given my trail name: Big Heart ❤️

Three more days until I reach Salida...

Video dispatches from the trail:

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