Continental Divide Trail – Day 21 (32 miles)
Once sleep came to me last night I slept great. Unfortunately, I only got 6 hours of slumber. I woke up at Rebels Roost around 7.30 and was out the door an hour later.
Today actually turned out to have some pretty good landscapes consistently throughout the day. On top of that, I actually had 2 climbs as well with one of them substantial at 4,000ft (1,200m). The big climb was first up for the day. It was up into the San Pedro Mountains, which is not so much a peak but a huge flat top with endless meadows. It was an incredible feeling to meander through the meadows with their lush, vibrant greenery. It is also a little hint at what is further north in Colorado.
It felt insane that this environment was being shut down due to it rating as extreme fire danger, but I soon found out why (and it is not what you expect). When I descended back into the dry desert I ran into a ranger preparing signs for the closure tomorrow. She said that over Memorial weekend the rangers put out over 80 campsite fires lit by people even under the fire bans. On top of this they found around a dozen unattended fires that had not been put out properly. Just a little crazy that people cannot be responsible and that such extreme measures have to be implemented!
After leaving the ranger at the highway, I headed up for the shorter second climb of the day. It was a steep cliff that lead to a mesa. I enjoyed the climbing today and realised how much I miss the rhythm and focus that I seem to get into on a nice long climb.
I ended up camping about 4 miles short of the wilderness that I need to get enter before 8am tomorrow’s closure. I had a great time camping, I grabbed some water from a spring that was surrounded with cattle and then went looking for a quiet place to camp. The cattle decided to follow me to my camp area (maybe they were looking for food?). I got the pleasure of the cows mooing and groaning until just after sunset.