Continental Divide Trail – Day 13
May 14, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 18.5 / 256.2
It didn’t rain much last night, but I didn’t get my footprint under my tent well and water had run under my tent and I must have a leak in the floor. I woke up to a pretty wet floor in one corner of my tent. I’ll take a look at it when I get to Pie Town and in the mean time make sure I keep my footprint underneath the eaves of the tent.
I had 9 miles of Gila River crossings to Snow Lake this morning. The day started off great. It was a little cool, but if I kept moving I was warm enough. I was making pretty good time and the trail was in mostly good condition with just a few areas where flood damage had eroded or covered the trail with debris.
I was about 6 crossings from Snow Lake when I slipped on a slick rock and fell on my side in the ankle deep water. Nothing was hurt but my pride and now my whole left side was soaked in water.
I reached Snow Lake about 11:00 and cleaned the sand and gravel from my shoes and socks before continuing on. The trail was roadwalk for a few miles and then began to follow the Gila River again. This area was pretty rocky and I was able to manage all the crossings by rock hopping and keeping my feet dry.
The trail continued to follow the Gila River, which by now was just a small stream into a cow pasture. The trail then turned off and climbed to the top of a small saddle. What a site before me. The valley beyond was all cow pasture as far as you could see. And above this beautiful setting was a dark thundercloud flashing lightning and rolling thunder.
The storm was still building and I could see clouds pushing into the darkness. It was directly North of me in the direction I was headed. The storm was sliding to the east as I walked toward it as I neared the storm I thought I would be able to walk behind it in the not so dark clouds.
About 3:30 I stopped and watched the skies for awhile to see how the clouds were moving and thought I could sneak in behind it. No more than 10 minutes later it began a heavy hailstorm. I headed for cover under some nearby pine trees (which weren’t much cover) and began to setup my tent. The hail was melting fast and making a slush on the outside of my tent as I set it up. Once up, I threw my gear inside and jumped in. I was already soaked and dragged enough hail in with me that I had to mop the floor dry before setting things up.
The hail mixed with rain lasted for about an hour and a half. I changed out of my wet clothes and crawled in my sleeping bag to warm up. I fixed dinner and ate as the rain continued into the night