Continental Divide Trail – Day 27
May 28, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 21.1 / 541.6
I woke up early this morning and got around pretty quickly. I wanted to get out on the trail before it got too hot. The cool morning air was nice, but it didn’t last long. By 8:30 I was roasting under the hot sun and searched for shade under a tree for a breakfast break.
The trail today was more ups and downs through canyons, over mesa’s and through open meadows. The trees are now much smaller and don’t give off much shade. I filled up 2 liters of water before leaving camp knowing that it was 14 miles to the Jones Canyon Spring. The heat caused me to drink more than expected and I got to Jones Canyon Spring with about 4 ozs left.
The spring water was barely a trickle, but steady enough to get plenty of water. Mando, Die Hard, Woody, and Brute all showed up there with barely any water left too. We all sat under a big shade tree and waited for the sun to lower on the sky to continue on.
I was the first to leave. I wanted to get 6 more miles so I would be within 9 miles of Cubs in the morning. The afternoon sun was hot as I crossed the open prairie toward Mesa Portales. Fortunately trail led to the east side of the Mesa where I was able maneuver the rock scramble to the top in the shade. It was still a hot, strenuous climb, but much better than in full sun.
Reaching the top the trail began following the edge of the Mesa counter-clockwise. The views were tremendous from the top and I began looking for potential campsites. As the trail circled around, I spied a nice looking spot near the point and followed the trail around the mesa. The spot I had seen was a little off trail, but offered a flats sandy spot amongst the trees, and access to some bluffs overlooking the valley below.
I set up my tent and ate my dinner on the bluff enjoying the view. As the sun set on the opposite side of the Mesa, I made my way back to my tent for the evening.