CDT Day 131: 25.5 miles /41 km

CDT SOBO: Mile 1954.0 – 1979.5

Sunday August 25, 2019

Camp (10,650′) – Tank Seven Creek (10,350′) -Sergeants Mesa (11,625′) – Lujans Pass (10,350′) – Lujans Creek (10,070′)

It was a beautiful start to the day. Our campsite location was very comfortable and warm overnight. However, the warmth did not last. Just after sunrise we entered the Tank Seven Creek valley, it was freezing cold. There was even frost on the ground.

Yesterday started to feel like we were getting close to New Mexico. We crossed our first Colorado cattle grate, then we crossed a gate across the trail and soon saw a herd of cows. This morning in the creek valley we were back to hiking past huge cow pats. A lone bull watched us walk past with disinterest.

From the creek valley we entered a long section that was like a plateau, Sergeants Mesa. We passed a school group who were out hiking the Colorado Trail. Hammer spoke to the teacher for a bit. They were the third group from an outdoor education school in Denver. There were two other groups ahead of us. They were hiking 10 or so miles a day and are out here for 16 days, completing the trail over 4 years. The group we passed was going to camp at Baldy Lake a few miles ahead.

The landscape we passed was not that interesting. Lot of dead pines and vegetation that was fairly dried out. We stopped for water at the Tank Seven Creek earlier in the morning and the rest of the day all our listed water sources were dry. The rocky terrain was hard on our feet. We plugged into podcasts and the miles rolled by.

About 3 miles after the Baldy Lake turn off I came upon a young girl sitting by the side of the trail with her pack still on. She looked a little distressed. She had lost her hiking group. She was not with the school group we passed but the group that was a day ahead. She thought the group had gone down a side trail, to camp. She was going to go down and look for them. She had no map and seemed uncertain. I asked her to stay put while Hammer dropped his pack and ran down the Duchmans Creek side trail to see if he could find her group. I stayed with her.

While we waited, 3 riders on motorbikes came by. I stopped them and asked if they had seen a school group ahead. Turns out that they have. So I asked if one of them would mind riding back to let the group know that we would walk with her to rejoin them. And if another rider could go down the side trail and get Hammer to come back. They were happy to do so and soon it was all sorted. The motorcyclist were 3 friends from Arkansas who were visiting Colorado and exploring some new trails.

We walked with the the young girl till she rejoined her group. And we continued on our way.

By late afternoon we were running low on water. We needed to reach Lujan Creek and hoped it had some flow. Before getting to the creek we passed a pickup truck at Lujan Pass. He was waiting for a runner who is out to set a fastest known time on the Colorado Trail. He gave us some water and she came in just before we left.

Her name is Theresa and her trail name is Savage. She was on day 4 of her quest to break the record. Turns out she studied for a year at Newcastle University, north of Sydney and has friends who lived not far from us. Now that is a small world.

Before we reached Lujans Creek she came running past and we also met the third school group who were camped nearby. They came out to cheers her on as she ran by. We camped a little way away from the school group just before it got dark.They are heading home tomorrow so spirits were a little high.

Lujan Creek is barely flowing but we managed to get enough water to refill our bottles.