Continental Divide Trail – Day 32 (22 miles)
I headed over to the only cafe open for breakfast. Where I met Medic, Bourbon and 5 Star and we talked and ate.
At 9 am we headed to the Ranger Station to find out what is actually happening with this San Juan NF closure. The forests are closing left, right and centre this year. We found out that this forest was closing at midnight.
There is no current fire threatening the CDT, like last time they are closing it because of the fire potential. I asked some probing questions as I did not want to walk around one of the best sections of trail. The head ranger basically gave us some outs that would let us hike through as long as we were quick.
I did have to change my plans and skip Silverton, so I went off to get another 40 miles of food to get to Lake City. I also scrapped heading to the library for a couple of hours and instead began hitching to trail. It took 2 rides but I was once again at Wolf Pass.
I found out earlier in the day that Clean Sweep was at the other town option of South Fork, and I planned to meet him at the pass between 11 and noon. I waited an hour till noon but he did not show. It turns out he just jumped on trail and assumed I would catch up.
I did eventually as he was sitting at the Creed Cutoff to just clarify which alternative we would do. The biggest concern is all the smoke in the air from a distant fire, but either option would face this problem. We confirmed to continue further into the San Juans.
The day was so beautiful, even with the smoke haze, and it makes me wonder how much I did not register while sick in the last section. We walked above treeline the whole time, with the highlight of reaching the 12,900ft (3,900m) pass just as the golden hour of light started. It was fantastic!
We spent the next hour dropping down 1,500ft to camp. It was a beautiful day and it was awesome catching up with Clean again. It has been around 800 miles since we hiked together last.