Take a Trek

Day 8: Trail Etiquette

Hwy 9 (Breckenridge) to Miners Creek
Day: 4.8 Miles
Trip: 109.3 Miles

Aside from the fact that I was mentally impaired yesterday, I needed to stay in Breckenridge to pick up an important package from the Post Office. I wouldn’t normally mention this in a public forum, but considering the response I got from Six Moon Designs (SMD), I don’t give a shit. My girlfriend had to priority express a tent to me, because my 240-dollar SMD Trekker retired after five days of use. The zipper on the entry-side vestibule jammed and came off track. I did an emergency repair job, with a safety pin, but this isnt any sort of long-term solution.Of course, according to SMD, I can sell the broken piece of gear on eBay or Amazon, If I don’t like it

Superb suggestion, SMD.

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Six Moon Designs

Whatever. My girlfriend sent cookies with the replacement tent.

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Cooooookies

I Make my way to the other side of Breckenridge, a town crawling with mountain-gawking tourists from every corner of the earth. Amongst a sea of kaki shorts and polo shirts, my backpack and I stick out like a sore thumb. Also, my motel didn’t have a laundry facility…

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Downtown Breckenridge

A small resupply is gathered from a City Market, at the edge of town. Normally a very healthy eater, I fill my basket with high-calorie carbs, refined sugar, and processed junk food. Burning between four and six-thousand calories a day, and shopping on a backpacker budget, tends to change the way you look at food.

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Backpacker Food

The local bus delivers me to the trailhead, and I’m back on track. Durango is a mere 380 miles away.

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Back on Track

Given the time of day, my hike is stopped short, at the foot of a 12,482-foot peak, called High Point. I’m sitting in my camp, feeling like I could use some company, when Jon and Anton come up the trail and join me. “Heyyyy, pull up a log, boys. I started a fire for you,” I joke. My sense of hospitality dwindles rapidly, however, as I watch Jon turn the fire that I intended to cook with into a three-foot-high bonfire. I point out that we’re camped on the edge of an extremely dry clear-cut, and Jon is quick to respond. “I’ve built a lot of fires, I know what I’m doing.” What Jon doesn’t seem to know is that ignorant backcountry travelers are one of the leading causes of forest fires.

I return from setting up my bear hang to find my small, homemade alcohol stove mangled and flipped over on its side. I’m starting to get annoyed. I’m not sure if if was Twiddle Dee, or Twiddle Duh, but one of them just tramped through my makeshift kitchen.

Jon, doing his Smokey the Bear impression, has smothered the shit out of our campfire. Consequently, we have a nice cloud of smoke blowing through our site. Ironically, Jon believes he is awesome at managing campfires.

Meanwhile, Anton has hung his hammock up, two feet away from my tent. “Be careful for that stake,” he warns. It’s right next to your tent.” I look around myself, to confirm that we’re in the middle of a forest full of trees. I’d like to hang out with these guys, but I’m not sure why we need to create smoke screens and sleep on top of each other. I’m officially annoyed. I’m going to bed.

Or, am I?

Strangely, it’s difficult to sleep through the sound of a two-hundred-pound body, rolling around in a piece of nylon. Every time I wake up, I think I hear a zipper being used, before remembering that Anton assigned us to backcountry bunk beds. These boys need a lesson in trail etiquette.