CDT Day 28: CDT Mile 607.4 – 631.7 (24.7miles – 39.5 km)

Tuesday May 13, 2019

Not since the first few days in the bootheel of New Nexico has the overnight temperature been so mild. We really are in summer time. It was so nice to leave camp this morning in shirtsleaves.

If we were a little disappointed not to have walked along the rim yesterday, today more then made up for it. Miles of cliff edge walking with spectacular views in all directions. Yellow bouquets of joy lined the trail this morning. The day was fresh and we had a spring in our step. We got to the road where we found a water cache. Just as well, the morning was warming up and it was 15 miles to the next water source.

The trail wound it’s way up and over and around a series of magnificent sandstone cliffs. I remarked to Hammer that walking on sandstone reminded me of home. All that was missing was the ocean down below. He didn’t think so, walking on this sandstone just made him feel the reflected heat.

By midday it had really warmed up. When we were exposed on top of a ridge there was a bit of a breeze. But mostly it was very still and very quite. The sandstone cliffs were constantly changing in colour and texture. Bands of haemetite broke up the layers in parts. It was incredibly beautiful.

The heat of midday and a lunch of pure carbs had a soporific effect on me. I’m sure I must have been sleep walking for a section. Time seemed to slow down, like moving through treacle. Hammer charged ahead, perhaps hoping there was an ocean just over the next cliff edge.

It was such a relief to reach the spring by late afternoon. A splash of cool water on my face and I was back, wide awake. It was tempting to stay here but we still had plenty of daylight.

We wanted to get close to Cuba, our next resupply town, so we hiked for another couple of hours. It was the gnarliest climb up the cliff face we had all day. Almost straight up a rocky scramble. Once on top we had great views towards town. We settled for a campsite, perhaps a little too early. It was a lovely time of day to hike. The air was cooler and we still had plenty of light. But as always it’s nice to stop and get off our feet. It was a hard but very rewarding day today.