Hiking With Jason

Detached From Reality

Day 11: Idiosyncratic town of Twin Lakes


Mile 169.2 to 175.2 Twin Lakes (plus 2 mile side trail)

8 miles

I heard Songbird rustling around in her tent working on her feet to prevent blisters. I couldn’t see or hear 5 Star so I just went back to sleep and waited for a pine cone. After about 15 minutes I got up and started to pack stuff up. 5 Star got out of his tent and threw sticks at mine. I told him I was up. I quickly packed up my stuff and put my tent away. It was a bit wet from the rain yesterday and the condensation on the inside.

I noticed that another tent was set up next to the girl’s tent as we walked by as quietly as we could, which isn’t at all quiet. We headed down to the trail head and passed a gaggle of day hikers. I could smell their deodorant. I’m sure we smelled ripe.



We had about a 600 foot climb immediately and then the rest of the short day would be down hill to Twin Lakes. As we were heading up the hill we spotted a tent with two llamas hanging out. They were just laying there watching us go by. Llamas are not the best for pack animals. They can only go about 10 miles. They sure are cute though.



We climbed to the top of the hill and started to motor down the hill. It was a bit moist from the rain yesterday afternoon. We came to a creek that was completely overgrown. We were almost soaked after walking through.


I was finishing up my audiobook and killing the miles under me when it was flat and down hill. We passed a creek and came to a small 300 foot climb and decided to take a break. We relaxed for about 20 minutes before getting up and pushing on up the hill.


5 Star and I kept a good pace while Songbird was distracted with taking a lot of pictures. We got to the Mt Elbert trailhead that had a bunch of car camping. It wasn’t a nice area. Not sure why they would come all the way out here unless they planned to hike up Mt Elbert. Elbert is Colorado’s tallest mountain and the second highest in the lower 48 states. I hiked Whitney last year so I’m good on climbing up another 14er for awhile.

While standing at the trailhead waiting for Songbird we noticed a hat on the trail sign. So many lost articles of clothing. Just need to find a shirt and pants to complete the outfit.



We continued to make our way down and hit the spur trail to Twin Lakes. We could start to see the lakes behind the trail. We followed the trail down and it turned into a rocky jeep road.





The jeep road dumped out on to a real road and we started to walk the 1/4 mile to “town.” Its basically a town of an inn, general store, visitor center, some cabins for rent, and art gallery. All within 200 feet. There is also a trailer that makes burgers and fries. We were hoping it would be open today.



We walked into the general store and I got a Jimmy Dean sausage biscuit and a chocolate milk. We sat outside and ate our delicious breakfast. We saw Smiles, who we met a couple days ago, and she sat with us outside. Nemo came trotting down the street twirling his trekking pole. He gave us a word barrage and then took off to wherever the hostel is.




We went back into the general store and grabbed a coke and then walked over to some shade where we could keep an eye on the food truck. It was supposed to open at 11. I tried to upload pictures but the 4G connection was really slow and it took an hour to get 5 pictures. I called my dad and talked to him for awhile.

Around 12 we get up and walk over and get some food. I get a pastrami burger and sweet potato fries. The burger was good. The pastrami was quite tasty. We sit at the table and Smiles comes over to join us. A few minutes later Nemo shows up. I wasn’t a fan of Nemo at first but he is growing on me. He talks very fast and a lot. This type of personality is draining to me. After he gets his initial conversations and greetings out of the way he brings it down a few notches.



A couple other hikers show up. One of them was the guy that was lounging around our tents yesterday. The other hiker, Geronimo, hiked the PCT last year and Songbird remembered him. Geronimo also set his tent up next to us last night. Although, he said he messed up setting it up so it was soaked from the rain.


It started to drizzle so we went to, check if we could get our room at the inn. Check in wasn’t until 3 and they meant it. The door was locked until 3. It was only 1 so we had a couple hour wait. It started to rain pretty hard so we hung out under the porch trying to keep as dry as possible. We could see lightning flashes off in the distance. Thunder came about 10 to 11 seconds later. So about 2 miles.


Then I got arrested by officee Manny Quin



We stayed under the porch until I started getting hungry again. Songbird and I ran across the street and got an ice cream. Not sure why ice cream sounded good when it was cold and wet. Around 230 we decide to go grab our resupply packages. They keep them outside in this wood locker. The key is attached to a wooden walking stick. We dig through this large locker full of boxes and it is still raining, bybthe time we get our boxes we are soaked.

At 3 they let us in the inn and we get our room. Songbird has her own room. It is an old inn that has shared bathrooms. Three shared bathrooms. We immediately use all 3 and take showers and wash our clothes. They had Dr Bronner’s peppermint soap and so I scrubbed my clothes until they were minty fresh.

I went through my resupply box and tossed what I didn’t want into another box to take to the general store. They have a hiker box that is stuff other hikers don’t want and is free for others. Some of my stuff has burst due to elevation. My nutella and breadsticks burst and got nutella everywhere.


We take the box full of food over to,the general store and leave it with all the other unwanted stuff. Some hikers will score and not have to buy anything. I buy some more Cheetos and get a chocolate milk for tomorrow morning.

We have about an hour to kill before dinner so we sit in the library room and talk. I try to get photos uploaded but the service here sucks. Finally, at 7 we go sit for dinner. It’s a bit pricey. I got a 14 oz ribeye, mushroom risotto, and a salad. The risotto was really good. The ribeye was ok, I’m not a fan of that cut. After dinner we got a couple slices of cheese cake.

It was getting pretty late so we went back to our rooms and finished getting packed. We have a big day of climbing tomorrow. We have about a 5 mile walk back to the trail where we are picking up the collegiate west route. The trail climbs 2,700 feet over 3 miles. I am going to be one tired hiker.


  1. Hope you thought of your mother while eating mushroom risotto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2024 Hiking With Jason

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑