CDT Day 106: 28 miles/45 km

CDT SOBO: Mile 1443.0 -1453.5 +Ley alternate 17.5 miles

Wednesday July 31, 2019

Today is the start of Week 16 on this trail. I still find it hard to believe that we’ve been going for so long. Sunrise is noticeably later in the mornings now, and as hard as this trail has been, in the back of mind there is element of sadness that it will soon draw to a close.

As we were camped not far off the highway we were keen to break camp early. By 5 am we were on the road and an hour later the sun was rising. Only one car came past us before sunrise. It was beautiful to hike in the cool twilight hours. Only the sound of the wind whistling in our ears, our feet hitting the ground and grasshoppers.

We were running low on water when we came past a gushing spring at Lone Tree Creek. What a treat, cold clean water. We filtered the water anyway and cooked an early lunch. Back on the road the sun was higher in the sky. Looking around, the landscape looked so intimidating, it was so dry. The road was not busy at all, 3 cars had passed in 3 hours. Most of the traffic seemed to be associated with a fracking operation we passed late yesterday.

In the distance I could see hills with trees on top. The road was starting to rise. The views back through the valley looked like sand hills. It was very windy but warm. The wind was like a drill that just kept grinding past my ears. Hammer had his head down as he kept losing his hat.

By lunchtime we had left the desert landscape behind and entered a more green and wooded environment. It seemed like a sudden transition. We rejoined the trail and left the highway behind.

It was so surprising to very quickly find ourselves back in the mountain climbing towards the Divide Peak at 9,000 feet. We were nearing the top when light rain turned into a storm with lightening and thunder. It was such a sudden change in from the morning it seemed a bit unreal. No rain was predicted for today.

We were exposed on the climb and just had to keep moving until we got back under the forest canopy. It rained for a couple of hours, it was getting cold especially with wet shies and socks. We stopped for the day under the tree canopy hoping that the rain had passed for the day. We were exhausted by the sudden change in terrain and the weather.