Colorado Trail Day 24 – Salida’s Bakery | Average Hiker

Colorado Trail Day 24 Backpacking thru Salida

Every town has it’s gem. Sometimes you have to search, but it is there if you wander enough. In Salida it is the Little Red Hen Bakery (you have probably noticed my food theme). Fortunately, it was recommended by a Colorado resident and I did not have to do much wandering.

Related Posts: Colorado Trail – 2020; Colorado Trail Day 23

Today would be a zero day in Salida. I had a few things to take care of and most of the day would be spent working and running a few more errands. Salida was a small town, and even had a taxi since it was a little spread out, so it was easy to get things done.

The only two high and low lights of this day in town were the Red Hen Bakery, and my room’s mice activities. I won’t spend any time on the numerous mice in my room except to say I don’t mind mice since I backpack, but not in a room where I pay $100/night. I slept with all my gear so nothing would get holes gnawed in it.

Red Hen Bakery in Salida Colorado
Baked Goods From the Red Hen in Salida Colorado

I was up before sunrise, and put on my headlamp to head out in search of the bakery. My schedule pretty much revolves around meal planning, even when hiking, and this morning was no exception. I had heard the bakery can get a line, and had a lot to do today, so I did not want to wait. Patience is also not one of my virtues.

The Red Hen was still closed when I arrived, but I could see people moving around the ovens through the windows of the small brick building. I sat down to wait and within a few minutes the front door opened and a young man slid a table and register into the entrance. They were actively following Covid guidelines so there was no inside dining or even picking up food inside.

I breathed in deeply, smelling fresh baked bread. Baking ovens are one of the best smells in the world! I picked out my savory bagel of the day and two small fruit pies and tucked my package under my arm, fighting the urge not to rip into the bag immediately.

The walk back to the hostel was about twice as fast as the walk to the bakery. I watched the sun rise over the mountains in the distance as deer and what appeared to be domesticated rabbits wandered the streets and yards. I expected Snow White to pop out of one of the small homes.

Deer in Salida on the Colorado Trail
Salida Rabbit

Salida is an idyllic little town, and it is growing fast. Every home has it’s own unique architectural style – brick, stucco, wood, hovel, trailer. Locals told me a $100k house 10 years ago is now a $400k home. That is no surprise. Colorado is definitely a destination state, and most people I have met are either from California, Texas or Arizona. In ten years, locals will probably not be able to afford to live in Salida.

Arriving back at the hostel I scoffed down my baked goods, that were quite good, and began working. Today would go by quickly, and I was ready to get back into the mountains early tomorrow morning.

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Ellie Thomas

I've hiked thousands of miles and still love the unknown of the journeys. Trails hiked include the AT, PCT, CDT, CT, AZT, NET, BMT White Mountains, and numerous blue-blazed trails around the country.