We only went 9 miles today. It felt like 19. We had to say goodbye to Grayson this morning. It was time for him to go home- back to California. We were sad to see him go, not only for all the wonderful cooking he did for us and for the warm bed he provided in his camper- but especially for the friend we have come to know him as. We enjoyed his company, our conversations, and our many laughs together. His willingness to drive across 4 large states to help a friend was an inspiration and good example of living generously. This was not an isolated event for him and if most people would learn to become only a quarter as generous as he is, the world would be a wonderful place. Thank you Grayson for EVERYTHING you did for us, for our horses, and for taking so much time to help us along our journey.
The snow did indeed show up, but the worst of it held off for us. We started off- uphill first thing in the morning- to get over Hayden Pass on the Sangre De Cristos mountains before any worse weather came in. The trail was atrociously rocky- and steep! It was slow going, especially since there were patches of ice and snow. The icy wind was blowing pretty hard, and the snow stung when it found a patch of bare skin on the cheeks! We got off and walked a bit to warm up numb fingers and toes- but it was very difficult to walk far enough to stay warm because we had to keep stopping to breath in the high altitude! We finally made it to the top and were so excited because we knew this would likely be the last place of significantly high altitude we would cross- for the whole country.
On the way down, I got off to walk again and nearly fainted. I had forgotten- or maybe my fingers were too cold- to eat anything for many hours. Unfortunately, I have learned that I have become more susceptible to dizziness and weakness if I don’t eat regularly or eat enough protein. I guess I take after my mama on that one.
At the bottom of the pass road, there was a forest service campground. It was noticeably warmer, and the snow clouds were getting stuck on the west side of the mountain range so we were a little more sheltered. Just as we were unpacking and starting to set up camp, Dave- from Delores- showed up with his truck and horse trailer! He came to join us and camp with us for a few days. He had mentioned it before, but it really surprised us that he was able to get away! We were so glad to see him too, because it was very disappointing to see the sign in the campground and realize that we had only gone 9 miles- so his arrival was very uplifting.
We went to work setting up camp with his equipment- complete with a wall tent, a heater run off a generator, a dutch oven pot rack, a kitchen lean-to, and real food! Man- we’re really getting spoiled this month! It’s perfect timing too because we were getting to the point that we couldn’t force ourselves to eat dehydrated food anymore. God is so amazing how He takes care of every detail- he knows exactly what we need and when we need it- so much better than we could have planned for ourselves!