Day 38: Conundrum Hot Spring hike out

We had one big goal today, get back to the car we left yesterday morning. We woke up at 6 and spent a whole hour packing up camp. We can’t figure out why it takes us so long, but it always does. By 7 we were on the trail and had a great pace throughout the 8.5 miles back. It was overcast all day and sprinkled the second half of the hike. I don’t think any of us minded feeling cool for a change. Ellie did slip at one point and scraped her knee on a rock. Thankfully that was her biggest injury of the trip, because the drama that accompanied it was very high. She didn’t bend her knee for over an hour and two miles of hiking. After several suggestions of trying to bend it, she finally did and loudly proclaimed that it was all better.

Since we didn’t eat much yesterday and were pretty proud of ourselves, we decided to splurge on lunch in Aspen after the hike. I’ll tell you want doesn’t fit in in Aspen. Us. Smelly us. Dirty us. (Literally, we were so muddy.) Wobbly us. Exhausted us. The food was insanely good though, or maybe I was just too hungry.

Surprisingly to us all, Zak had the most challenging time both yesterday and today. We have Mount Elbert tomorrow and were planning on camping at the trailhead. I suggested that we get a hotel room and just wake up really early so that we can get cleaned up and Zak can rest his muscles. We had no problem getting a room in Frisco and really enjoyed the shower. Unfortunately, Zak thought he was feeling worse than just fatigue, so Zoe and I went out and bought a thermometer. Sure enough, he does have a fever. What a huge bummer!

Our plan for tomorrow was to hike Mount Elbert. We attempted the 14er two years ago and were 600 feet short of the summit. My biggest goal of the summer for me was reaching the summit. I want it so badly. I want to be able to say that we failed, but we came back and accomplished it. It won’t happen this year, but I’m not letting go of that goal.

The girls and I don’t want to give up a day of hiking with so few days left, so we’re doing another 14er on our own tomorrow. It looks very do-able this will give Zak the chance to rest without us all in his hair.

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