Continental Divide Trail – Day 19 (30 miles)
It seems that the extra water that I took yesterday to recover from a decent dose of dehydration was less than I should have brought. It was 13 miles to water and I was slightly thirsty getting there. It, therefore, came as a great surprise when I saw a water cache left beside a road for us hikers. Thank you mysterious person!
There was not a lot of total elevation change today but what there was was bloody steep. I spent the whole day walking up and down each gully along a cliff edge. It had some great views, especially later in the day as I got close to the town of Cuba and the big valley that it abides in.
It turned out to be my first day almost entirely on either built trail or on huge slabs of slick rock. And I have to say that some of the trail had a decent amount of work put into it, with carvings out of rocks to create stairs. I was impressed.
The theme for the day was my sore feet. I changed shoes to Altra Superiors in Pie Town and my feet have been throwing a tantrum ever since. Altra’s, known for having an ultra wide footbox, turns out to be not wide enough for my feet as they narrow to soon. On top of this the mesh that these shoes use does not seem to breath well. The result of these problems is a lot of raw, chaffed skin on my toes, arch and on top of my feet.
I ended up limping for most of the day and it turns out constant pain takes a lot of energy that I normally use for hiking. I chose to have an hour nap halfway through the day to try and dry out my feet and restore my energy. It worked on the energy front at least.
My plan at the start of the day was to walk 34 miles to a water source, but I was slow and in pain so did not make it that far. I did find a great campsite though. The cliffs were full of sand, and the combination of a soft surface right on a large cliff was the perfect spot to watch the sunset from.
I will be in town tomorrow so I’ll order a new pair of shoes then.