As it is a town day and we both want to get away from the bugs we break our normal breakfast routine and take off down the trail with just a bar to keep us going.
The Pole Creek Trail and the Seneca trail join about 5 miles above the trail head and when we reach the junction we find Carlos standing there reading the sign, checking which way to the trailhead. We fall into conversation and continue down the trail. We have been seeing other hikers for the last few miles and now we start to pass people coming up the trail heading out for the 4th of July long weekend. It strikes us at how clean these people look and how dirt we must look to them. It has been a hard few days and we are covered in dirt and our clothes must have a smell all of their own.
We reach Photographers point and marvel at the view. There are also two young girls there heading out with their boy friends. They are touching up their makeup as the boy friends chat with a couple of other hikers. We have entered into a whole new world of hiking.
Leaving photographer point we are joined by two other young hikers that have been climbing in the winds. Dave and Kyle have been in since Monday doing their first ice climb. We start talking and getting into a very interesting conversation about climbing and how these guys learnt to do it. Turns out most of it was learnt from reading and getting out and climbing. As we get closer to the trailhead we ask if they would mind giving us a lift to Pinedale and they graciously agree.
They drop us off at the Rivera B&B and we organise to meet them at the pub for a beer and shout them lunch as soon as we get settled.
Over lunch we get to know them some more and find Kyle has an ambition to climb Everest. He has already found the company he wants to go with, Peak Baggers. They have a zero fatally record and no serious injuries which seems a good way to select a company if you are going to do something so extreme. We had a great time with Dave, Kyle and Carlos over lunch. We even got Dave to pose in the slipper chair on the way out to send to our girls as he does not have a girlfriend.
After saying goodbye to Dave and Kyle we grabbed our now very smelly clothes and headed to the laundromat. It is interesting watching the clothes in the glass door industrial washing machines as the water instantly turns a very muddy brown. As we wait for our clothes to wash Carlos comes in to put his in the dryer and then Jacqualine and Joe walk past. We have not seen Jacqualine and Joe since Pie Town and the toaster house. We all start talking about our next big obstacle, backcountry permits for Yellowstone. We all agree to meet at the pub once the clean up is finished.
While waiting for our clothes to finish we start talking to Travis a CDT biker. Turns out he is in the Rivera B&B as well and we invite him to the pub.
The evening is spent at the pub with Carlos, Joe, Jacqualine, Travis and someone else we have not seen for a good while, The Beast. It was a fun night catching up and talking about how the trail had dealt with everyone up to this point. Carlos was the only one that has walked all the way from New Mexico. The rest like us have skipped Colorado to go back and do it when there is less snow.