Continental Divide Trail – Day 25 (30 miles)
After just under 700 miles of hiking through New Mexico, I arrived in Colorado today! YAY!! One state down, and I’ll be in some seriously high mountains very soon. Infact, 20 paces into Colorado had a fantastic view over a valley with lakes, meadows and trees everywhere.
I expected last night to be cold after the fairly big storm yesterday, but it turned out to be reasonably warm. I was a little late hitting the trail but the miles came easy and I had hiked the 29 miles to Colorado before 5pm.
Today was fantastic. I spent most of the day high up on grassy ridges with an endless view in every direction. It was a bit rocky underfoot with granite, another sign of leaving the volcanic desert behind and a foreshadowing of the rocky outcrops and spires to come. I love transition zones, they are so interesting.
I also got up above 11,000ft (3,350m), the highest official point in New Mexico, although my Mt Taylor alternative was a smidgen higher. I was pleased to see no winter snow at this elevation, with only bits of hail remaining from the storm. It bodes well with my decision to leave my microspikes and ice axe at home.
Yesterday’s rain took away the navigation tool that I have been extensively using throughout this trail – fellow hikers footprints. They are such a great source of information. If there are prints around I’m most likely on the right path, and provides a quick warning system if I miss a turn. So this meant that I actually had to pay attention as the trail switched from trail to dirt road and back again.
I arrived at the border just before 5 pm. Unlike the other triple crown trails, there was no big sign greeting me. In this case, it was a fallen-over fence and a sign that I was changing into a different National Forest. It felt fitting that I was saying goodbye to New Mexico by stepping over a fence.
I ran into the problem that I still wanted to hike but also did not want to get into town until tomorrow for a day off, without the cost of two nights accommodation. I, therefore, I set up camp extremely early and watched a movie on my phone.