Continental Divide Trail – Day 14 (26 miles)
I woke up a little different to usual. I was on the floor at the Toaster House.
Ice Machine, who was sleeping on the couch next to me, had set off early as he wanted to get to Grants in two days to pick up a box before the long weekend. It is a lazy 80 miles away.
I had a few chores to tick off this morning before I hit the trail.
1. try to find the food box I mailed to myself as it did not turn up to where I sent it. I went to the post office when it opened and to my relief, they did have my food.
2. Post my beta @atompacks backpack as Tom was awesome enough to send his latest model after some feedback. Just from wearing it today, this might be the most comfortable UL pack I have ever used. To be confirmed, but I hope it stays that way.
3. Organize my cold weather/snow gear for Colorado. This involved sending off a few emails to friends. Colorado is getting close! 300ish miles ahead.
4. Work out what bloody route I will be taking to Grants. There are two main options; the official Chain of Craters, a modified Chain of Craters or an alternate route. The alternate route is far more interesting but has a bit of highway walking over the modified. I never thought I would say this but I chose the highway walking + interesting landscapes + better water over a mostly trail modified Chain of Craters.
5. Try and find an iron to fix the leak in my neoair. Apparently, not to may people in the country own irons and I was unsuccessful.
With all that done, I packed my new bag. I did get some bonus food of delicious Lara Bars and other more healthy and yummy stuff that Slingshot did not want. My budget does not allow for this sort of stuff, so I will be eating like a king this leg!
I ate lunch and then set off at 12.30 with Prickly Pear and BK to the trail, which was a gravel road. I spent 5 miles talking with them until they stopped for their lunch. I pushed on.
It was a dead flat gravel road. The same as yesterday. As soon as I hit Colorado it will turn epic.
I listened to the audiobook, The Martian to pass the time. I’m only 4 hours in, but I see why it is a popular book. Very entertaining. I am glad I have my MP3 player for this hike.
15 mile in I entered a ranch. The owners are kind enough to let us access water and even camp by their house. I filled up and started to talk with the owners, Rick and Salt Lick. After 45 minutes I excused myself and hit the trail again.
I walked until night fell as the flat terrain meant I was not fatigued at all. I did get to see my second pronghorn of the trail, and the best sunset to date! This is why I’m hiking here! Not to mention the awesome people that I meet along the way.
I camped in a drainage ditch that I used to block some of the wind.
p.s At about 10pm I saw a headlight as Z and Slingshot walked past for a bit of night hiking.
p.p.s I did not turn my phone on flight mode when I left town. That mistake sure did drain my battery!