Continental Divide Trail – Day 73

August 4, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 30.3 / 1,243.1

The rain ended early last night and I woke up to a dry tent this morning. It seemed pretty cold in the valley this morning and I started out the day with my rain jacket on for warmth.

The trail followed the creek up the valley on an abandoned forest road. It was a gradual climb, but there were lots of blow-downs across the trail. The trail broke through the tree line and reached the top of the ridge where it joined a gravel forest road.

From here It was mostly downhill for the rest of the day. The road dropped down through the forest on switchbacks and then opened out onto a alpine meadow with cows grazing. At one point I walked past a group of cows gathered around a feeder and they all turned to watch me as I walked by.

Leaving the cow pastures, the trail joined Colorado HWY 14. It followed Grizzly Creek up the valley toward Muddy Pass. This was a long hot road walk with practically no shade. The shoulder was narrow and I had to step off the roadway when cars approached. The only good part of this walk was a fox I saw down by the creek. Once he saw me he scurried off into the willows though.

Hwy 14 intersected with HWY 40 and I was climbing up to Rabbit Ears Pass for the last couple of miles for the day. This shoulder was much wider and I felt much more comfortable walking this road. I also saw an eagle perched on top of a pine tree. He had his back to me so I didn’t get a good picture.

I finally reached the gravel road where the trail turned off HWY 40 and found a campsite not too far on the road. I could still hear the highway noise, but I think it will work for the night.

I plan to hitch a ride into Steamboat Springs in the morning, do my town chores, and hitch back out around noon. My second HERO of the trip.

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