Staring at Things from the Road, and Is the Divide Really Crisply Divided?


Morning clouds on my grassy knoll

Day 67: June 29, 2019

Destination: Stealth Camp off Route 40

Today’s Miles: 25

Start Location: Stealth Camp off Route 40

Trip Miles: 1103.1


My little hilltop was a bit too much of a grassy knoll (fortunately not like THE grassy knoll - if you don’t get that reference, congratulations you are officially young!), and I woke up with condensation all over my sleeping bag and tent. When this happens, I just take my handkerchief that I use for sun protection under my hat (amongst other things) and I wipe everything down as best I can.

Then later I will usually lay out my tent and bag to dry in the sun, though I didn’t pause to do this today. If the condensation isn’t super bad, it usually dries on its own when I set up my tent again. It’s most problematic when it is so cold that it freezes, because then it melts inside my tent during the day and kind of squooshes onto everything. Squoosh is a word. Really.

I have been seeing signs for F.M. Light & Sons for days! Each one is different. I assume I’ll see them all the way into Steamboat.

Today I just plugged in the podcasts and walked. I started getting low on water at one point, and then ended up climbing over a barbed wire fence to get to a creek to get water. Barbed wire fences are like table stakes if you own land in New Mexico or Colorado. I saw some cyclists ride by as I filtered water and waived.The mosquitos were out, but not too bad.


I saw a hawk of some type sitting on a telephone pole, as well as a large coyote running through a field with purpose. A deer watched me climb over a guard rail to avoid traffic. The twisted carcasses of roadkill greeted me with their devilish grins and empty eye sockets absent of second chances.

Can you see the hawk?

I rejoined the CDT where it synced with highway 40 and walked until it went back up a dirt road. Yay! A quarter mile of the trail I’m supposed to be walking, haha! I continued on towards Steamboat. This was Rabbit Ears Pass and it was actually really nice to walk, even with the road. It had a wide shoulder and was high enough to have patches of snow around, with the deeper drifts waiting under the cover of fir trees in the surrounding forest. It was a long pass as it took me a while to walk from end to end, albeit I took a lunch break. I met a family from Wisconsin at the west end of the pass. They asked what I was doing, so I explained. I got the inevitable questions about bears on the trail. People always want to know about bears! All of the other forest animals get the short end of the stick.... Chipmunks be like: why nobody want to hear about me??!!

At the pass there was a sign denoting which watershed water flows into depending on which side of the pass you’re on. That’s kind of the whole schtick with the Continental Divide. I can’t help but wonder though, is it really that clear cut? Is there a line That doesn’t get crossed? I can just picture a tree on the east side of the divide saying (with a New York Cit accent), “wait a minute here, wait a minute! I’m tastin’ some west side watta here! Some schmuck crossed da line again!” I digress....

I realized that I wouldn’t make it to Steamboat until evening, and that hotels there were over $130/night (at least when I checked Priceline). There is a KOA there, but $45 just to pitch my tent? This hobo thinks not! I decided to stop early and found a stealth spot back behind the highway on an old abandoned dirt road. This way I can go into town early, get breakfast, charge electronics, resupply and hike out! I’m excited about that breakfast!!

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