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[CDT-L] CDT questions (2 of 3) - Resupply

Hello Jim/Ginny -

Continued from "CDT questions (1 of 3):

I had back surgery (diskectomy) last Feb, so this hike was really just a
test run on the neurocutters handiwork.  I did the resupply a little
differently than I have in the past because I wanted to keep my pack weight
down (21-27 lbs with food & water).  I decided to resupply every four days
and didn't really want to do a bunch of hitching (ala PCT), so I got some 2
1/2 gal plastic pails and either buried my resupply in them (where the
trail crossed a road) or left them at a town stop.

I put the food inside a double garbage bag inside the pail, sealed the lid,
and then put the pail inside two more garbage bags.  Each buried pail was
put into a hole deep enough such that the top was about 4-5 inches below
ground level.  Dirt was replaced along the sides, a large flat rock was
placed directly on top of the bucket and then as much of the dirt/sod as
possible was replaced (the rest was stored nearby where it couldn't easily
be seen by passers-by).  I usually put another 2-3 large rocks on top of
the sod to mark the spot.  Had evidence of critter-interest at only one
site...looked like a dog or coyote had dug down to the flat rock and given

All burial locations were within the impacted roadside areas and I went to
great lengths to restore the soil penetrations to as near-normal as I could
with my cathole trowel (even watered the sod...I am a bit of a LNT nut,
remember <g>).  I put my trash and surplus food/fuel (I WAY overestimated
my needs) back into the empty bucket and resealed it.  I had planned to
drive back to pick up the left-over buckets, but I was lucky enough to be
able to arrange for someone to dispose of them at all five locations where
I buried my resupply.  My other two resupply buckets were held for me by
good folks (hostel in Grand Lake and the ski area at Berthoud Pass).

BTW, I also decided to not mess with a bounce box on this trip.  I put
small quantities of each item (that I usually carried in the bounce box) in
each of my resupply buckets...worked just great - only had to drop post
cards and film in the mail box at each town stop (no messing around with
the Post Office at all!).

I did two planned town days/nights in Grand Lake (about 150 miles into the
hike) - fell in love with the "Shadowcliff" hostel on the north side of
town (private room - one double and two sets of bunk beds to lay stuff on -
$25/night).  Did two more planned town days/nights in Silverthorne (a
little less than 300 miles into my hike - VERY easy to get to on the free
shuttle bus) at the "Alpen Hutte" hostel (single bunk in almost empty dorm
- $15).   Spent the second day riding around seeing the sights on the
shuttle and eating Chinese food <g>.

Did one unplanned town day/night by hitching to Winter park from Berthoud
Pass (motel w/hot tub - $40) and another by doing a side hike & short hitch
to the Inn in Twin Lakes (old brothel - two double beds
w/honest-to-goodness feather mattresses - $38, I think).

Shadowcliff hostel (Grand Lake) is a super resupply/town stop that is a
short stone's throw from the trail!  Nice folks from all over the world
(met people from eight different countries in the two days that I was
there!), nice little library and plenty of places to sit and read,
clean/comfortable all over, self-service kitchen, and they held my resupply
bucket for me.  There are a couple of good eating spots in town (short
walk), and there is a pretty good outdoor outfitter (lots of bits and
pieces) run by a former seasonal Ranger at RMNP.  The laundromat is a
pretty good walk (mile?) and I was told that the Post Office is at least
twice that.

I debated on which hostel to go to (Silverthorne or Brekenridge), so I took
the free shuttle (hourly, near the Gold Hill trailhead) to both and checked
them out.  Brek had a craft fair going and was a bit too crowded for my
taste, so I stayed in Silverthorne.  There is a better selection of
eateries in Brek, but you can get there from Silverthorne in an hour or so
on the shuttle.  There is a well-stocked outfitter in Silverthorne (Tom
Jones' place), there is a fantastic new community rec center across the
street from the hostel...hot tub(S!), pool(S!), sauna, and steam
bath...come and go all day, with towel - $6!  I was able to do my laundry
in the hostel.  The hostel in Brek is more expensive (seriously yuppie
town!), but it does have nice private rooms and a big hot tub (easy walk to
everything needed).

I found good places for dinner (Chinese) and breakfast (bakery) in Winter
Park and there is at least one apparently well-stocked outfitter.  Prices
are steep all over town, but the Viking Motel guy was willing to negotiate
a little and had a hot tub and sauna.

The bad news at Twin Lakes was that there was only one place to eat and
sleep.  The good news was that both were fine at the Inn <g>.  Great video
library and the host seems to be interested in hiking.  The food is
outstanding!  Either the Inn or the amall store across the street will hold
hiker's resupply packages.  During the earlier whitewater/biking season,
there is another cafe (w/rustic cabins) open...it was closed when I got
there after Labor Day.  Not much else in Twin Lakes...

Great Mexican restaurant in Buena Vista (owners will talk peppers all night
long!) and there is a very clean motel (don't remember the name, it's next
to the lake in the town park, $45) with friendly hosts.  Easy hitch from
Cottonwood Pass (blacktop from the pass to town, fair amount of traffic on
a weekday).  Got a ride with a couple of aging deadheads (good folks) - sat
in the back of the truck with their friendly dog and got caught up on my
dog-scratching <g>.  They insisted on taking me well out of their way to
what they opined was the best motel buy for the $ around.

The food was dehydrated left-overs from a Scout dining hall (actually not
too shabby) with a little surplus trail rations from the High-Adventure
Base thrown in...all the stuff the kids wouldn't bother to cook during
their treks (freeze dried green beans, etc.).  I got a box of Cliff bars
and one of Snickers at Sams, had some Sports Bars left over from the PCT
hike (stored in my daughters freezer in Colorado Springs).  All mornings
were cold, so oatmeal suited fine for the entire trip.  Lunch was cheese,
flour tort's, and super goo.  Lotsa GORMN (mixed nuts). Packed WAY too much
food...first time I ever gave away Snickers bars!  Was interested to
discover this time that I lost interest in coffee after a week or so...the
Folgers coffee bags just didn't taste right and I wasn't all that up for
sitting around with a morning cuppa (no partner to plan the day with <f>).

All in all, resupply went as well as expected.  The food was ok (not quite
as good as cooking/dehydrating the individual veggies/meats myself at
home)...but I couldn't argue with the convenience or the price <g>.  The
resupply buckets were VERY handy (took about an hour to resupply each
time), nothing came close to spoiling, I could keep a lighter pack, and was
able to do town stops for R&R (instead of being driven by resupply needs).
Given the low number of hikers on the trail, I was lucky to find day-hikers
to dispose of the left-over buckets for me (folks met while I was
packing/repacking at the road or coming along behind me on the trail).  I
will be interested to stop by a few of the locations in the future to see
if the soil penetrations have completely healed (a couple of the burial
spots were old fire rings...mixing up the soil should have been an
improvement <g>).

I will continue in my next message - "CDT questions 3 of 3)"

- Charlie II  AT (MEGA'93)
             PCT (Mex@Can'95)
         Chipping away at the CDT

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