Continental Divide Trail – Day 16 (33 miles)
I had a (New) Mexican standoff with a wolf today. Well, more I saw a New Mexican Grey Wolf trot away from me into the scrub. It was huge! Possibly the most amazing animal sighting I have ever seen. The wildlife in this trail has been far better than expected so far and the best is yet to come!
That sighting happened mid-morning, but first I woke up on top of the pine duff in the middle of the lava field. I think it was the best sleep I had in over a week.
I got up before sunrise, it was just as the first rays of light were appearing. I got up a bit earlier than usual because I realized last night that I was short on water. Not by much, but I wanted to get up and going while it was cool after yesterday’s heat.
There was a technical problem first up. I was in the middle of the lava field with no soil and needed to go to the toilet. Hmm, there was no good solution, so I got as far away as possible from the trail.
After that conundrum was over, I finished off the last hour of that amazing lava flow of the Badlands, crossed a highway a d started down a long dirt road that I would eventually see the wolf from.
I then turned onto a different gravel road that was far busier. It was the start of the long weekend and everyone seemed to be heading to the forest.
The really old sandstone of this canyon reminded me so much of home. There are so many places in Australia that look like this that I was almost transported there for the few hours I walked.
I finally got to town after 28 miles of walking without a break. I was preparing to walk to the grocery store when a man stuck his head out of his yard and asked if I wanted a lift down. I was surprised at the offer and readily agreed.
Not only did he save me an hour or 2 of walking but he let me use his clothes iron to finally fix the hole in my air pad. Yay! No more deflation!
I walked to a Mexican restaurant, eat dinner, recharged my phone and then began the walk out of Grants. I ended up sleeping in an old gravel pit a little too close to the jail for my liking.
What a successful day – my neoair fixed and a wolf!