Continental Divide Trail – Day 17 (27 miles)
Waking up to a flat air mattress when sleeping in a hard gravel pit is never nice. It is even worse when I fixed a hole yesterday and now I have another!!! What are the chances?
I had a short walk along the highway before starting the 5,000ft (1,500m) to the top of Mt Taylor. This is the first big climb of the trail and I was curious as I was walking along the highway as to how it would go considering I have predominantly been walking on flat ground until now.
It turned out that the climb felt easy. And it was so nice to be high up on a mountain, above the treeline with endless views in every direction. The last 1,000ft or so when I was zigzagging to the summit felt like going over a pass in the North Cascades, with the pines and fir trees below and walking through the grassland. Simply beautiful.
As the afternoon progressed, I seemed to clam up and felt sick. My throat was sore and I felt like I hit a wall. I pushed on for another few hours hoping that it was a random ailment that would disappear. Unfortunately, I kept on deteriorating.
I stopped for a short break to try and get some energy back after I made it to the next water source. I eat 800 Cal or so and also drank a litre of water. These are the usual instigators of sluggishness.
This time I still did not feel great when I started to pack up. I gave myself 30 minutes and if I was still like this I would give up for the day and set up camp.
I made it 15 minutes before I set up camp. I curled up on some great pine duff so not to worry about my deflating mattress and went to sleep well before nightfall.