Continental Divide Trail – Day 15 (31 miles)
The cool morning was key to getting there so I got up and started to finish off the 2 or 3 miles or gravel road.
I then turned off the CDT to the Cebolla alternative just to change things up. It had 6 miles of single track that I enjoyed and then a dirt road.
On this section, I ran into Slingshot and Z, who passed me late last night. I ended up walking with them until 6pm. It was great to walk and talk with them. Especially on the highway walk that we hit after this alternative. It turns monotony into an interesting day.
I talked the others into taking a Lay alternative on top of the rim to go cross country for 4 miles instead of the highway.
I could not find a safe route down where Lay indicated the descent, so we ended up going to a different gully and scrambling down. 40 minutes, 0.25 miles and 3 smiles we were at the bottom.
One last view remained, a huge natural Arch before we headed back to the highway to continue walking. There was a fantastic person (although slightly dangerous and crazy) who stopped in the middle of the road to offer us some water. We accepted and tried to encourage her to get moving as cars were approaching at speed.
An hour later we were at the trailhead. Here I said goodbye to the guys. They were continuing along the highway to get to the post office before the long weekend. I was heading into the lava fields.
We met Mumm, who is amazing and maintains a few water cashes in the area. I was concerned about crossing the lava and getting stuck out there overnight and not finding a campsite. The lava is so sharp it would be the death to my already holey air mattress.
The lava was so interesting. It was almost total coverage and had fishers in the ground up to 30ft (10m) that I had to jump over.
When I left, Mumm said there were a few sandbars (there was one) that I would be able to camp on come sunset (it was 10 minutes away). So I was stuck in the middle of the lava overnight. I ended up finding a pine tree with enough duff that I could pile up to make a cowboy spot that covered the sharp rocks.
I’m tired, time to sleep!