Continental Divide Trail – Day 35 (32 miles)
The fallen down hut blocked the cold wind and at 12,000ft (3,600m). I thought it was cold in the morning but 5 minutes in when I hit the first hill I overheated with my jacket on.
I had a great day. It was one of those days when everything just clicked and felt easy. I was surprised by this as there was quite a bit of climbing at altitude. It is safe to say that I love these days, and provide a nice counter to being sick the other day.
Oh, first thing in the morning I saw a huge bull elk with its antlers finally growing in all velvety.
There was a little smoke throughout the day, but we were now north of the fire and in the opposite direction of the prevailing wind. Yay, no more raining ash and me crying with it getting into my eyes.
But then it was time to climb up 1,300ft to the high point of the Colorado Trail (?). It was a dryish section over this climb and Clean Sweep and I sat by a stream to get some water. As we sat there cumulus clouds started to appear and grow. I thought, “the predicted storm is on its way”. We raced up the mountain as fast as possible, with the clouds getting ever more threatening behind us. The temperature also dropped significantly, with it dropping down to below freezing.
The impressive looking clouds turned out to be more looks over content – we only got a few drops of rain on us and clear warm skies opened up just behind the front. I would be a very happy man if all storms are like this.
There were a couple of benefits during the afternoon. The first was losing 2,000ft and the associated easy downhill walking. The second was the impressive views down into the valley.
With a couple of hours left of walking, I left the San Juan NF and into farmland. I decided to chuck in my headphones and listened to some informative podcasts.
We decided to camp around a mile from the highway and head into Lake City tomorrow for Clean Sweep’s birthday (and also to get some more food). It was a fantastic campsite with some lush grass. Well, it was fantastic until CS found a tick crawling on his pad.