Continental Divide Trail – Day 30

May 31, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 23.9 / 592.5

I had an awful nights sleep last night. I ended up setting my tent up with a slight sideways slope. I knew better, but did it anyway and I had a terrible night’s sleep. I felt like I was going to roll off my mattress all night.

I got up and got all my gear ready and stepped outside my tent when I noticed the dark skies and lightning. When I checked the weather yesterday morning there was no rain in the 3 day forecast. I updated the fire forecast on my InReach and although it showed 0% chance this morning there was a 70% chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Despite the 0% chance it began to hail and I put my gear back in my tent and crawled inside out of the weather. It only lasted about 15 minutes and I was able to take down my tent and get on the trail.

The trail continued to climb upwards and there were still snowdrifts and flooded meadows to go through on the ascent. However, once I reached the top of the pass the terrain changes to more rock and sand and less mud. There were still wet areas, but not as muddy as yesterday.

I reached a nice spring after about 7 miles and refilled my water bottles. I went downstream and washed all the mud off my shoes as well. Back on the trail I made good times for the next few miles and stopped to eat lunch about 12:30. After leaving much the trail crossed a valley and headed for the mess on the opposite side.

The trail up Alta Mesa a nicely graded and I steadily climbed as I watch the clouds darken overhead. The clouds were moving off the the west and although I got sprinkled on it never started raining. I reached the top and started descending the opposite side and headed for a spring fed water tank for some water. As I was filtering my water another thunderstorm moved in and this brought the rain.

It rained for the next two hours as I hiked the trail toward the Chana River. There was a big descent into the canyon and the trail was beginning to get muddy on the way down. At the bottom, I stopping to remove a twig in my shoe and Slytherin and Die Hard walked up. They were in panning to push ahead another couple of miles which fit perfect with my plans.

We found a large spot next to a small stream and settled in for the night. I setup my tent and then cooked my dinner near the fire pit. Slytherin and Die Hard joined me and we talked about the trail and plans for Colorado as the sunlight faded. We could here another thunderstorm building and retired to our tents for the night.

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