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Day 90: 10/22/17 Groundhog something or rather Trail to Telluride!!!

Miles: 20.5 Steps: 41,595 Vertical gain: 1,970 feet Liquid consumed: 128 oz. Wildlife: Not too much at all: getting too cold up high? Faith in Humanity: Angelee was a super cool host in Telluride. Thank you so much! Another day, another adventure. Woke up after my dose of lots of tent time, packed up and I was out. Rest of the Groundhog Trail was more wooded than yesterday, but it only lasted a couple of miles until I hit pavement again. Such beautiful scenery! I must say Telluride is really hard to beat! I mean there are quite a few beautiful mountain towns and I was lucky enough to experience the beauty of Aspen for 8 years, but Telluride is just so CLOSE to so many huge mountains. It’s amazing, truly! Hope everyone gets to check it out at least once to see what I mean. Paved road walk was a bit of a small shoulder and mountain road affair, but everything worked out fine. I made really good progress and ended up covering my 20 miles by 2pm, not too shabby! A couple miles outside of town I spotted a trail and had to take it! It’s fun to check out the town trail systems in these beautiful mountain towns. I asked a few locals and ended up finding my way pretty easily. Big ramble about Telluride: Every time I’m in a mountain town I find myself comparing the pros and cons to life in Aspen. Telluride certainly has a ton of pros including proximity to big peaks, A couple reasonably priced bars/restaurants (shocking! in contrast to Aspen), a laid back feel, and did I mention the beauty and closeness to it? There’s also a ton of festivals there throughout the summer and the ski mountain is steep and looks amazing to ski! Downsides are: it looks potentially harder to make a living compared to Aspen, due to smaller size, you’ve got major housing issues (as in there isn’t much of it and it’s very expensive, as in nearly all mountain towns), and one I hadn’t thought much about: the resort doesn’t let you climb up the mountain and ski down in the winter: Aspen prides itself on being a leader in this regard and rather than ban it, flat out encourages it. This is my favorite winter pastime by far and while locals in Telluride didn’t seem to really care because they haven’t experienced the other side, for me that may be a fatal flaw. The amazing freedom of climbing mountains with skins on your skis and skiing down is magical! Also, at the bats there were so many more men than women... What towns have higher percentages of women? Cities? I’m quite curious Anyway, I still absolutely love Telluride. Would love to spend more time there. Rant over. I walked to Angelee’s house and her, her Roomie Mary and friend who’s name I sadly can’t think of for the life of me were outside. I dropped off my pack and Angelee and I went to a bar and had pizza. It was super good and we had a couple of drinks and watched some football. We went to a bar a couple doors down and the bartender had seen me hiking which was pretty funny. I shared my story and he was really cool, even bought me my beer. Then I chatted up another woman and she too night me a beer! Thanks so much for the kindness! Eventually we made it back to the house and then went to buy some groceries. Angelee suggested some different snacks to try, so I bought some hummus and naan, and some different ramen which I’m excited to try. Then Angelee cooked up an amazing dinner that was incredible! So many veggies and rice and good seasoning. So thankful for the meal and really everything. We hung out and chatted for a while before heading to bed fairly early. Ahh, Telluride! So fun to check things out for a short while and imagine life there. Perfect to have a cool local show you around too. Thanks for everything, I loved my short time there!

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