Continental Divide Trail – Day 29
May 30, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 17.3 / 568.6
I tried sleeping in this morning. I woke up at 5:30 and tried to go back to sleep. I woke up again a 6:00, 6:30, and I finally gave up at 6:50. I got up and fixed a pot of coffee. While the coffee was brewing I took a nice hot shower. I got dressed, drank my coffee and updated my blog for yesterday.
The other Mexican restaurant in town, Presciliano’s, was supposed to open at 9:00 am for breakfast. I was looking forward to another breakfast burrito. I waited until 9:10 and they never opened so I went to the Mexican grill down the street ,Chaco Grill, and got a breakfast burrito there. It was pretty good and cost a lot less than Presciliano’s.
I finally got started on the trail about 9:45 and the first 4 miles were road walk. The pavement abruptly ended and the road became a very rough dirt road. The trail turned off shortly and began climbing up into the mountains on a long series of switchbacks. The slope wasn’t too steep and I made good time climbing upwards.
The trail zig zagged through a pine forest and the smell of the pine was refreshing. The trail crossed a stream and I stopped and collected some water. About 11 miles in the trail came to a road and a parking lot for a short trail to San Gregorio Reservoir. As the trail led to the Reservoir it reminded me of trails I’ve hiked in Colorado. Well maintained Trail, big trees, and even large rocks on the trails.
I reached the lake and the trail circled around the east side before jutting into the woods. There were some muddy sections and a creek to cross. I stopped and ate a snack before continuing.
It wasn’t long before I reached about 9900’ and there was snow drifts covering parts of the trail. I continued over these without much problem, but the big challenge came when the snowmelt had made a huge muddy mess on the mountain. I walked through slushy mud and snow for about 3 miles. My feet were freezing from the cold and the only relief was a few flooded meadows where the sun had heated up the water slightly.
As the trail continued to follow Vacas Creek upstream I began to look for a campsite. The level ground in the bottom of the valley was all too wet and the sides were too steep to camp on. I finally spotted a fairly flat hilltop and Climbed up to find a spot there. The location was great, partly in the trees, a great view of the valley, and close enough to hear the water flowing below. I setup my tent and took my cold wet shoes off. I cooked dinner and crawled in my tent for the night.
As dusk approached I heard and animal making a barking sound. I crawled out of the tent and was able to see an elk “barking” through the trees. I short some video and she eventually saw me and wandered away.
Back in the tent I updated my blog and got ready for a good nights sleep. It’s already getting cool up here and might be a cold night on the mountain.