I woke up early due to another person being loud in the next room but was able to get back to sleep a little bit. I spent the morning just relaxing, finally showering and packing up just before check out at 11. I didn’t have to actually leave though, which was great because I wasn’t ready to leave town.
I called a trail angel named Chuck to arrange for a ride back to the trail in the afternoon. After talking with him, I realized we had a mutual friend. Then later on the ride to the trailhead I found out we both grew up in the same county in NJ. Crazy. His daughter is a Triple Crowner so that’s why he likes to help out hikers.
There were storm clouds threatening as I started hiking north from Route 50, but plenty of blue skies too. I could hear the occasional low rumble of thunder in the distance. I only had 5.3 miles to go so I just hoped to get to camp and eat dinner before the rain. I did have a climb up from the pass, but it was only to 9700′ and I was mostly in the trees, so I wasn’t worried about lightning.
I descended again to the North Fork South Arkansas River and grabbed a couple liters of water before looking for campsites along the way to the Angel of Shavano Trailhead. There was a basic Forest Service campground right there so I went over to see how much it actually cost but I wasn’t going to pay $20 right next to free camping.
A couple of sobo hikers came along looking for camping too so we decided to set up together. After we all finished dinner and cleaned up, it started raining so we had to retreat to our tents before 7pm. It only rained for about an hour but it was too late to get out again.