Continental Divide Trail – Day 65

July 27, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 20.4 / 1,112.8

I was awoken about 9:30pm to the sound of rain on my tent. It was just starting and I was able to get my doors closed before it got stronger. I laid awake and listened to the sound of the rain on my tent and watched the lightning flashes for about 15 minutes before dropping off to sleep. This was the first real rain I’ve be had since getting back on trail July 7th.

Everything was still wet from the rain last night and since I closed up my tent the inside was wet from condensation as well. I packed up my gear and wiped my tent down before packing it up.

I stopped below a big climb last night so this morning I began the 2,000+ ft. climb up to Jones Pass. The view was amazing from the top. This is where I rejoined the main CDT route which followed the Continental Divide for the biggest part of the day.

The trail stayed high on the mountains and around every bend were more amazing views. The trail circled around the mountains and climbed up Stanley Mountain before continuing on to Berthoud Pass.

At the pass I saw a notice of a trail closure due to a fire near Devil’s Thumb. I would need to take a detour route through the Indian Peaks Wilderness which requires a camping permit. I went online and the area I wanted wasn’t available, but was able to get a permit for the next zone beyond that. A little longer day tomorrow, but I did get a permit. I also met a Trail Angel while trying to get my permit and he offered me a beer and some strawberries. We visited for awhile and then I got back on trail.

The climb up Mount Flora from the Berthoud Trailhead was a long 3 mile, 1,780’ climb. Mount Flora is a rock topped mountain and it was a slow ascent and even slower descent. To make things worse a Thunderstorm moved in while I was descending and the trail stayed above tree line for another 3 miles. Fortunately the storm clouds blew over me before they started forming lightning and I found a low spot in the rocks to hunker down and let the storm pass.

Back on the trail I made it down into the valley before the next round of storm clouds moved through. I found a fairly level place to camp and got up under some pine trees as I waited for the hail and rain to subside so I could set up camp.

Once it slowed, I quickly set up my tent and jumped inside. It was a cook in the vestibule night as the rain continued through the evening.

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