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Day 88: 10/20/17 Dolores, CO to The woods!!!!

Miles: 27 Steps: 53,172 Vertical gain: 3,554 ft. Liquid consumed: 102 oz. Wildlife: Bald Eagle flying overhead, cattle, horses, dogs, deer almost getting hit by a car. Faith in Humanity: One guy stopped on the side of the road said he saw me yesterday and had to ask what I was up to. Thanks! A lot of people waved from their cars too which is always nice. Hard to leave hotels. Walls, heat, hit showers, running water, mattresses. I enjoyed all of those things before hitting the “trail” around 8:30. Road walk really wasn’t so bad today. Quite a few people waved. There was no shoulder though which was a little annoying but traffic was pretty light so that helped things. 17 miles in I took a break at a Trailhead. I looked at the map and thought: I could take this trail. I’ve always said that I’d try to take Trails whenever possible. The problem here though? Horrible forecast tonight with snow possible, no research on the trails at all, and it’s rifle Elk season this weekend. What did I do? Went for it! My legs forgot the feeling of a steep climb as I’ve been on a road so long! Soft, uneven ground through leafless aspen groves. The trail faded a bit and there were a bunch of cattle trails but a couple looks at the map and it wasn’t so bad. The first trail ended on a road and I continued onward. Where’s the water? Dry streambeds abounded, but I needed water. There was some really gross “reservoirs” the map indicated but I really wanted something slightly more appealing. Last hope was at the end of the day and I almost thought it was going to be dry too, but when I got all the way up to Taylor Creek there was water!!! Yay! I would have had to beg hunters otherwise. Not a huge deal, but I like to be self sufficient when possible. I found a campsite above the road, set up and ate some food as the sun set. Almost 27 miles today, big day! Hopefully the predicted storm won’t be so bad!

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