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21st May

24.9 miles (40km)

(575.5) to Upper Canjilon Lake (600.4)

The low river valley was slowly giving way to the steep climb onto the Colorado Plateau. I’m not far from the state of Colorado. To get there I need to climb.

I didn’t have much energy in the morning. In fact the low energy stayed with me most of the day. It wasn’t helped by the slowly thinning air and constant uphill climbing. Maybe it’s just the altitude starting to affect me. I’ll slowly get acclimatised.

I stopped for lunch at a spring. Spontaneous and Crunchmaster finally caught up. They started hiking at 6.30am from Ghost Ranch. I hiked an extra 2.7 miles yesterday evening to a beautiful campsite. So we were back together.

After lunch the trail continued climbing. Trees became thinner. Some of the Aspen trees were just starting their growth cycle. New bud forming for the growing season. Others were still to cold to bother.

In the distance, looking north, for as far as I could see were large snow capped mountains. They looked intimidating. One thing that made me feel better was the warm weather. The sun was blazing. I knew that a couple of weeks of these temps would quickly melt the snow.

I made a rookie error. Billy Jean was playing on my headphones. It’s got a great beat to hike to. I missed a turn. I was half a mile off course. I also ran out of water. I was also a bit hungry. All those incidents together bought on some minor frustration. I ate some food and filtered some water from a muddy stream that was on an old jeep road. That’s right, the road was a small stream. Things somehow felt better afterwards.

By late afternoon we reunited again. I suspected that the others had passed me while I was hiking my bonus miles. Turns out Spontaneous got lost too. Not to be outdone Crunchmaster took a wrong turn, twice. We were the lost boys.

Before we could get to camp we had to cross a small intermittent stream. That’s what our map called the crossing. It was waist deep, bitterly cold and flowing fast. Not the best way to end the day.

Camp was next to a lake. We dined at a proper picnic table. That’s something new for the trip. We all felt so very posh. With dinner Spontaneous opened a bottle of Soju and Dr Pepper which we shared with our meals. Our camp was above 10000 feet, so surely it will be cold tonight. There were great views of the full moon and Mars after another magical sunset.

the view looking down from the colorado plateau

green meadows

snow capped mountains in the distance

crunchmaster photographing a snake

aspen trees

dinner on a picnic table

Next – Day 35 – Lost in the Snow

All the tips you need to hike the CDT : Continental Divide Trail

More great hiking stuff:

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Te Araroa Trail – New Zealand

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About The Author

Life long lover of hiking and keen observer of the natural world. Former Police Officer and Wilderness Tour Guide who loves Cycling and Hiking the most amazing places on the planet.

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5 Responses

  1. Heather

    Three thoughts: 1. He is WAY too close to that snake. Any snake. 2. That water looks so cold! and 3. I love, love, love the photo of the sun through the aspen trees. Such beautiful colors. One of my favorites so far!


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