Blue Sky Green Grass
CDT Miles: 701.8-727.7 (25.9)
Total Hiked: 633.6
Elevation Range: 8,550-10,560
Maybe some of you are wondering what’s going on with my little mileage tracking above. Why doesn’t my “Total Hiked” match the “CDT Miles” I’m at? Well, it’s easy enough to explain. The discrepancy comes from the different alternates I’ve taken. The one I just did to visit Ghost Ranch is about 2 miles shorter than the CDT red line, so not much of a difference there. But the Gila River Alternate is about 70 miles less than it’s counterpart. Anyway, it bothers me a little, but I’ve accepted it. That’s just how the CDT is it seems and I’ve only met one person out here that plans to do solely the CDT red line.
Well I made it to 5:45am sleeping in. But, I fell asleep probably around 9:00pm, so that’s not to shabby, almost 9 hours of sleep. I didn’t rush and got going around 6:35am.
From the very beginning of my hike this morning, I was loving it. Quite startling to have such a dramatic change from the forest I ended hiking in yesterday to giant meadows. I was in/out of them most of the morning.
Saw some mule deer wandering about…
There were islands of Aspen groves throughout the meadows and at times the trail wound right through. The birds were singing beautifully…
I thought I was going to head straight for the taller mountain in the last picture, but nope, turned towards the right into a primarily Aspen forest. Before that though, got this view of a whole other basin.
Pretty trees, bright colors
I had breakfast in the peaceful Aspens.
Afterwards, the trail wound around and started heading towards the big mountain again. Post-breakfast, I needed reinforcements. I’m happy to announce the return of Stevie G.!
Indeed, it was football day today, although I didn’t have any service to check on the match, I’d later find out that Liverpool went on to defeat the mighty Southampton’ers. They are right there with a chance to overtake Manchester City (I believe that’s still the case) and they have the Champions League final coming up too. A very exciting time! So, I’ll be supporting The Reds on trail with my Steven Gerrard jersey going forward as I did on the PCT, the last time they won the Champions league 😎.
I love the wide openness! And felt compelled to share this moment with y’all. Right on cue, a classic tune started playing as I crested a ridge, views all around. No “long necks” were spotted munching on the Aspen leaves though 😉
Heading up there…
Water crossings are getting more serious.
Around 1:00pm, I made it to Upper Canjilon Lake where I found Ponderosa eating underneath a Ponderosa (Pine) I joined and took lunch, but she moved on after just a bit when Sledge and Soccer Mom came by and they all crusied onward.
The trail was still heading up today and I found myself once again in meadows and in wet, snowy conditions, much like San Pedro Parks Wilderness a few days ago. Just another wonderfully beautiful section of trail!
My goal for the day was the Rio Vallecitos, which I wasn’t sure I’d make or not. With how yesterday went, I honestly wasn’t expecting to get there, but it was a good day for a good day and some pretty gentle terrain for the most part. My legs were still “tight,” but so much better than yesterday and energy levels seemed to be up some too, still not 100% though.
I got to the river around 6:30pm and set up right away. There was a wide open space for tenting and soon Ponderosa made it down, and then Soccer Mom, Sledge, and Crockett too. We all had dinner together, but I snuck away early being whipped from the days hike. Early to the tent for me!
While organizing though… hummingbird moth?
Album of the Day
“Live at Bell’s” – Greensky Bluegrass