Continental Divide Trail – Day 38 (34 miles)
After yesterday’s rain I was surprised to find only patchy clouds as I gazed down the valley as I packed up my wet hexamid tarp. Unfortunately, this reprieve only lasted until just before lunchtime.
It was an easy morning strolling down the valley. Actually, it was an incredibly easy day with only 2 small, easy climbs that I had to contend with. This is a bit of a change from Contending with a fair amount of climbing at around 12,000ft elevation that Colorado has treated us to so far.
It was then time for the first climb of the day, a little 1,000ft (300m) ridge to get into another valley so I could continue heading down. The rain came just before I reached the top. It was different from yesterday. Yesterday there was little rain, but high winds. Today it was still but the rain was heavy and constant. It was also relentless and continued all afternoon.
The day, therefore, turned into a head down and continue on kind of day. I just walked all afternoon with only a 5-minute break under a tree to get out more food around mid-afternoon.
I did notice a couple of things.
The first being that after 4,500 miles my poncho/groundsheet is not waterproof to sustained rain. I knew about a few holes but it now leaks through microholes where my belt to keep it tight compresses puts a bit of pressure on the material. It was not a major concern, but I might have to get my new one soon.
The second is the change in things that I noticed in the wet conditions. I did notice the big views, but the environment highlighted a different perspective. For instance, as I walked I noticed a lot more what type of soil I was on. The clay soil became muddy and I slipped and slid, the gravel and rock were dry and easy to walk on, the grass and shrubs were slick and wet.
At 6.30 I was hungry for dinner and even though it was early, I decided to pack it in for the day. I had made a decent amount of miles and on top of the hunger, the temperature was dropping as the sun began to set. Aka setting up camp did not take a lot of persuading.
I ate dinner and watched a movie on my phone as the rain continued to hit my tarp.