Continental Divide Trail – Day 20

May 21, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 25.5 / 414.3

The skies looked clear this morning and I was up early to get on the trail. My spot last night amongst the pine trees was perfect and as I started down the trail I realized I had made a good decision to stop when I did. The ground was covered with rocks going forward.

There was about 13 miles of single track and it went upwards into the surrounding hills. As the trail progressed there were several good views and some steep descents. I stopped for lunch under a tree at the end of the single track. As I ate a thunderstorm moved through bringing rain and winds with it. I hunkered down under the tree and let the short lived storm pass.

Back on the trail it had joined a forest road that was very rutted and had several mud puddles in it. I worked my way around the puddles and continued on. As I neared the Bandera Cone there was a large lava flow area beside the road. I could see the blown out side of the cone as well as the lava track down the side.

The forest road soon met paved Hwy 53 and I had about a mile walk down the highway to the Bandera Ice Cave entrance. It was another 1/2 mile to the ice cave gift shop which had cold drinks and ice cream. I grabbed a Diet Coke and an ice cream and found a covered table outside to enjoy them. Sticks was there and we visited while cooling off in the shade.

I hung around about an hour, enjoying the cool shade and snacks before starting back down the trail. It was another 3 miles of walking Hwy 53 before the trail turned onto single track. This section of single track meandered through the rocky hills but remained within earshot of the highway. I walked on for about an hour and started looking for a place to camp. I found a spot in a clump of cedar trees and set my tent up for the night.

I cooked, ate dinner, and started updating my post for the day. I can see lightening in the distance and hear the crack of thunder. It appears to be east of me so I don’t think it will come my way, but you never know what might be building behind me.

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