View Blogs in a larger map
Red - The most recent post
Blue - 2008
Magenta - 2009
Green - 2010
Purple - 2011
Yellow - 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pagosa Springs to Lake City

From Pagosa Springs to Lake City is one of the longer stretches of trail. It's 115 miles all above 10,000 feet and most above 11k. I had one 25 mile day, all over 12,000 feet. It is the stretch we have all been thinking about since the beginning. I'll apologize now for taking so long to load, there were just so many pretty pictures to take.
The first day we entered the Weminuche Wilderness. It is one of the larger wilderness areas that the trail crosses. There was a lot of snow to cross and a stream that my GPS labeled as the South Fork of the Rio Grande. Funny to see the beginnings of a river that will become an international border.
The next day we walked the ridge of the continental divide. It's weird to think how streams 40 feet apart will flow to two different oceans. It's a feeling that will happen again, but it will always be amazing.
After the second day I decided to hike ahead of the group by myself. Just for a little space. That night I camped under "The Window," a gap in the rim rock that is an identifiable feature for miles around. There was also a fire starting to build momentum and the smoke was a feature of the landscape for a couple of days.
At one point I lost the trail. Two different maps had two different directions, neither which matched what I was seeing on the ground. I knew which direction I needed to be going, so I wasn't lost, but it took about 2 hours before I found the trail again. While I was lost, I did see a moose, and a family of elk. Who knew moose came so far south, and the baby elks were following me for a few feet when they couldn't find their mom.
On the fourth day the mountains became magnificent. Steep, stark, rocky with a deep blue alpine lake. It was a great place to have lunch and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to spend every day hiking and exploring lands I've been dreaming of.
I also saw two wolves that day. I came over a ravine and saw one running away. I got a fuzzy picture from behind, more for proof then printing. The second of the day was an adolescent, small and a little speckled. It ran across the trail 200 feet in front of me, to quick for a picture.
I pushed hard the 5th day, trying to make it to the pass, but had to stop 8 miles short. The CDT had joined the Colorado trail the day before and it was rolling over the tops of mountains. There was one pass the trail crossed at 13,200 feet. High enough, but not many photos.
After a short 6th day to the pass, I waited for a ride. After an hour, only a few cars had passed by, then a truck pulled up and a guy asked if I was doing the CDT. I said I was and he said a friend of mine told him some people might be needing a ride and he was there to help out. I jumped in the bed of his truck where he had a cooler of beer and had one of the best hitches on the trail so far.

View CDT Check in in a larger map

No comments: