Best Laid Plans . . .
I set out in the rain this morning, with Takoda packing supplies for an overnight section again, while my mother planned to go to Leadville with the dogs. But about six miles into my ride this morning, I encountered my first true snow obstacle of the ride—an icy wall along a ridgeline that was just too dangerous and steep to attempt with the horses. I had known about it and wondered if I would get through, but the warm weather the past few weeks made me think I had a chance; once I saw what was there, I knew it was not going to be possible. However, thankfully I already had a back-up plan, as I had ridden through this area only a little further to the east on the Colorado Trail last year, and I knew that the Colorado Trail basically parallels the CDT here, but at a lower elevation, and later the two trails merge and share the same track for a while before the CT diverges and heads for Durango. So I contacted my mother on our satellite device and turned the horses around; she returned from the highway to Leadville and we loaded the horses into the trailer to save them an extra 8 miles down the dirt road, although they already did 12 miles out and back this morning and they will have another 20 or so to do before we reach a suitable camping spot tonight. It was 3:30 when I finally hit the trail for the second time, but we made good progress, and only got a little wet, and by 9:30 we had arrived at our camp site for the night.