CDT Day 18: Pie Town Roadwalk Alternate Mile 9.3 -26.1 (16.8 miles – km)

Saturday May 4, 2019

The frost on the ground shimmered like diamond dust in the torchlight. We broke camp very early as it was simply too cold to sleep. Icicles from the condensation under the tent, hung off the tent poles. Even though we were camped in a valley we were still at 8200 feet in elevation. It was by far the coldest night we’ve had on trail. As we hiked on the gravel road in the predawn darkness the air was so cold it hurt to breathe.

We had a 4 mile uphill hike to reach the top of Mt Magness at 9200 feet. The effort of constantly climbing was good to warm us up. And before too long I could see the pink light on the horizon breaking the darkness and hopefully soon ending the freezing cold. Apart from the cold it was nice hiking: the sky was clear, it was still and silent. An occasional drill of the early riser and industrious woodpecker was the only other sound accompanying the sound of our feet cruching on the dirt road.

We had great views on our way up to the top of Mt Magness but once on top the pine forest blocked any views. There is a fire observation tower here but we didn’t go u to it. Small remnant patches of snow remained on top of the mountain.

Once on the other side of the mountain we had a long slow descent. The sun was out and it was becoming quite a pleasant morning.

We were aiming to make it to Davila Ranch by lunchtime. The ranch has everything a hiker needs: shower, washing machine, drier, internet, food and beer. We came off the mountain bd hiked through Chavez Canyon. It was a pleasant morning. Once we were out of the canyon we could see two cone shaped mountains and another that reminded us of a smaller version of Mt Solitary, Allegross Mountain. It had warmed up and we passed a few private properties before reaching Davila Ranch.

It was such a surprise to find this amazing setup especially for hikers on a family farm.

We were the only ones there so we got our washing done and dried, had a shower and made lunch with the food provided in the fridge. I caught up on the last week of blog updates before another couple turned up. It was Queso and Chips. By dinnertime, more hikers had arrived. The owner John came by and spent a few hours around the camp fire. The sunset illuminated the nearby Allegros Mountain. It was a nice end to an easy day on trail. We are clean, our clothes are clean and we are toasty warm in the tent with an extra warm layer on top of our sleeping bags.