Day 24: Junction Creek Finish

Wednesday July 14, 13.5mi/21.7km

Ridge above Junction Creek (472.9/9045ft) to Junction Creek Trailhead (486.4/6995ft) (CO)

We got moving early, excited for a town day in Durango and the FINISH! Our water source was a quarter-mile down the trail, and it was a little hard to get to.

KOKO gets swallowed by bushes.

It had started raining in the first few minutes of hiking, and everything was wet. The trail was pretty well maintained, so it was only a slight “carwash” of wet plants.

The views into the valley were both a little smoky and rainy.

We caught up to Chris and Greg, CT hikers from Arizona. We hiked with them for the rest of the morning. It was great to get to know new people, right up until the end of the hike!

We came to a trail junction where the directions said “bear left”. It was a little disappointing since I saw no ursine creatures, to the left or anywhere.

In the final couple miles of Trail, we passed by Gudy’s rest. She was the “mother of the Colorado Trail”, and someone had installed a nice bench in her honor.

We made our way down some wet switchbacks….

… and arrived to our final crossing of Junction Creek. There was a group of ladies there who were very excited for our imminent finish, and they were also probably highly caffeinated.

Someone had scratched a note into the dirt. That’s today!

We got to the finishing trailhead at 11: 30am, and took some quick photos at the sign.

Me!
KOKO / Erica
Chris and Greg

Chris and Greg had a ride arranged to town, and Erica and I got a ride from a nice woman who had hiked the CT last year. She dropped us at Erica’s friend’s house, and then we walked into Durango to get lunch. The Himalayan Kitchen really hit the spot!

There is a pub in town that gives hikers a free beer, so we walked over to Carver’s. I’m not usually a fan of nut brown ales, but it was pretty tasty.

I also ordered a large warm chocolate chip cookie smothered in ice cream. Bonus calories!

I’ve been to Durango before, but I really got to appreciate it today while exploring it on foot.

The Silverton & Durango scenic railroad was painfully loud. https://youtu.be/VbvxMBe3gqU

We had dinner at Switchback Taco Bar. It wasn’t our plan A, but the first restaurant was very busy, and I wanted tacos way more than I realized. And they had fun t-shirts: “the tacos are calling and I must go” 😂

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We walked back to the house, it wasn’t late but it was well after “hiker midnight”. Getting up early for flights home tomorrow morning!

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