Day 17: May 10, 2019
Destination: CDT Mile 381.6
Today’s Miles: 26
Start Location: CDT Mile 355.6
Trip Miles: 305.9
The title pretty much sums it up, but in the literal sense! It was raining when I woke up. I got up early, but it was so cold and rainy that I sat in my tent for a while. It didn’t get down into the 20s overnight like I thought. That part was good - no ice (yet). It was probably about 37 out.
I watched hikers Animal and Penguin cruise by. That inspired me to get going. I started walking around 7:45. My goal was to walk about 30 miles, but the weather was not ideal for hiking big miles.
I started out moving quickly. I would not get more water for 16.5 miles. The rain turned to drizzle for a bit, but then came the hail. And then came the snow/sleet! There wasn’t much snow, but there was a lot of rain and sleet.
Today was a day where my primary focus was on staying warm enough, and also making some miles. By the late afternoon, the trail was incredibly muddy in some places. Huge chunks of mud kept sticking to my feet, making it harder to walk at any pace. But, walk I did! When I got to the Pie Town road walk Alternate, I stayed on the main CDT. Because of that choice, I got trail magic! At the first cattle gate someone had left a case of Orange Crush and Yoo-hoo. I grabbed a Yoo-Hoo for later, yum! Trail magic on difficult days is always nice.
Towards the end of the day I climbed for a long time until I was about at 8500 feet. I saw a small rabbit and it let me get super close and take a picture. It just sat there eating while I did this. I camped in some trees still up on the mountain top.
I think the weather will be dry tomorrow, but I’m not sure entirely. A dry day will be a much needed thing - hopefully I can dry all of my gear in the sun. One of the toughest moments today was getting water. It is scarce in this section. I stopped at a cow tank and had to filter 3 liters and grab another 2 to go. The water was ok - it could have been worse. There were little fish swimming in it Amidst the algae....
Anyway, the wind picked up and blew a nice slanting rain all over me while I filtered. I was getting cold sitting there and my hands were numb. It was a tough moment, but like all moments, it passed. I had a beautiful view from atop the mountain as I climbed into the evening.
I can barely stay awake to type this. Hopefully it’s coherent! Time for sleep!