Day 37: 8/30/17 Dirt roads transform into gorgeous trails along ridges.
Miles: 23 Steps: 48,578 Vertical gain: Strava knows Liquid consumed: 130 oz Wildlife: Squirrels, chipmunks, new bird noises near treeline, quite a few deer Faith in Humanity: didn't see a single person today! That's good, mean you can still get away from everyone if you'd like to. Takes some effort though! Another great day on the Continental Divide Trail. Challenging but great. Started the day on a dirt road that was just incredibly smooth and hard surfaced. Seems like roads around here would be easy to pave (please don't though!). Then I turned and the Road was so dusty. Seems like it's been quite a drought around here. The roads finally ended and I missed the junction! But, instead of being frustrated by this I was really happy: I found a beautiful piped spring right on the road. I bushwhacked back to the trail and all was well! Really well since the CDT was now a nice soft trail that used to be a road 50 years ago probably. The trail today went up near 12,000 feet. It's hard to hike uphill at those elevations, but views were spectacular. The trail held the Divide almost the entire day, which is kind of nuts! Very bold trail placement on CO being so high up on ridges for so long. Guess it just matches the exposure of the parts of the trail I've already hiked! I did wait out dark clouds quite a while today. On one ridge I heard thunder as I was approaching the top so I turned around and went a couple hundred feet lower on elevation and took a long 2 hour break. Eventually things looked ok so I went higher. I did wait again for a cloud to blow over, and managed to make it all the way to camp before any rain came at all and what did come was quite minimal so far. Always the cloud and storm dodging game in the CO high country. September is a great month a lot of times with much less thunderstorms, but I'll just take things day by day, step by step! Haha, at the end of the day my next days point on the map was a parking area at a pass. I'm thinking oh I should camp too near a Trailhead. But I get here? Yeah there's a dead end 4WD dirt road with a turnaround and that's about it, no cars of course, and a blank Trailhead sign. I wonder what places like this will be like in 20 or 100 years??? Will these rods still be remote and 4WD required? Will everything be paved? It'll be interesting to see! Not much good camping at all around here, but it's ok, pretty much everything on a somewhat exposed ridge and standing dead trees all around from a fire and beetle kill. Here's hoping for the best!