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[CDT-L] Update: Flight of the Spirit Eagle

Coming direct from Ginny!

Hi to all. We made it to Salida, despite the early advent of winter.
Actually, it wasn't that bad - two days of wind, one day of snow flurries, 
and a lot of VERY cold nights. (When it's 19 degrees inside the tent, you 
know it's cold outside.) The days have been clear, so the views have been 
good, which almost made up for the horrendous climbs up and down over the 
12,000' ridges on talus and rough rocky trail - sometimes four or five a 
day. Next time, I think I'd do the Colorado Trail instead. I love the high 
country, but not when it's 30 degrees and the wind is blowing. Autumn is 
over already - the winds last weekend took all the leaves off the trees and 
turned the willows to bare brown branches. Sigh! I loved the golden aspen 
leaves swirling around us. We are finally starting to see some wildlife, 
now that we're away from the heavily populated northern Colorado mountains.
Hearing an elk bugle is an incredible experience. We've seen deer, elk, a 
golden eagle and a coyote in the past four days. There is still snow 
remaining from the last big snowfall at the high passes, which made for 
some "interesting" crossings over the loose talus. You know how much I love 
that! The plan is to keep going on the CDT to Spring Creek Pass, then we'll 
probably do a cut off to where we left the trail two years ago at Squaw 
Pass, if that's still possible. We heard rumors of snow on Sunday. I'm 
sorry to miss redoing the San Juan Loop, but time is running out. We'll be 
back. We were lucky enough to see it at it's best, covered with 
wildflowers. Now we can see it covered with snow - more dramatic perhaps, 
but I miss the green. Physically we're fine, but very very tired, and the 
cold does make it harder to get motivated in the mornings. We're both glad 
we decided to stick with the high country - but we're also keeping an eye 
out for bail out routes if we need them in the next week or two. We've been 
lucky so far - keep praying for us, we need all the help we can get.
Walk softly,
Jim and Ginny Owen
Flight of the Spirit Eagle

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