Day 16 - back on a hiking trail but didn’t last long (27.2 miles)
May 25, 2021
Miles: 27.2 miles
After getting to bed so late it was hard to wake up this morning and hike. It got cold again but not too bad.
Finally around 6:45am I started moving around and was on trail by 7:30am. Once I started hiking back on the gravel road I knew it was going to be a hot one. Wasn’t sure if I had enough water to make it to the next water source. Then a truck stopped by me and offered me some water, gave me 2 bottles which was very helpful. I chatted with them for a few minutes, they told me to watch out for the Mohave rattlesnakes in the area. I thanked them and was off.
After 4.5 miles of hiking I came to a cross road. This is where the CDT splits. To the left takes you through a scenic area through lava fields only not much water available, and it’s about 25 miles longer. To the right is also scenic and gets you off the gravel road and will get me to Grants a day early, plus has more water. I went right, 1 day closer to Grants.
The turn off took me down a very sandy road. I started to wonder if I choose the right path. The road took me to a trailhead and was finally back on a hiking trail and off an official road. The trail was sandy and rocky so I wasn’t able to go at the fast pace I had been. It was still nice to be back on trail. The trail followed the canyon all the way. I took a break around 10am which brought me to this an abandoned house that would have been very scary to come across at night, think Blair Witch.
Soon I was hiking out of the canyon and into another one which I was back on a single dirt/sandy road. It was a nice hike through the canyon, I believe the name was Sand Canyon. It was very exposed hiking with no cloud cover or much of a breeze to help. I was close to using my umbrella but was close to my long break for the day.
Right around 1pm the sandy/rocky road turned to gravel. I found a nice shady spot to get out of the sun for awhile.
After about a 2 hours break it was 2 miles to my only water source for the day. I was hoping I would be able to get water straight out of the pipe rather than the dirty cow trough which I knew would be covered in algae. When I got there I see I have to go through several gates to get to the pipe. The water is flowing out but hard to reach. Seeing how I’m unsure if my water filters status, if it froze the other night, I had to get water there. I had a water bottle and reached as far as I could and could get mostly straight from the pipe. It took a awhile but was able to get 3 liters. I waited to drink it just in case there was a water cache at the paved road 1.5 miles down trail. I get there and I see there is about a liter left, I didn’t expect to see any. I felt good about my filter for some reason so I left the water cache for someone else who needs it more.
Now on the paved road, it had been awhile since I had been on one. It makes for fast hiking but it’s hard on your feet.
I had 4 miles on the road to the Narrows Picnic Area where I would have dinner. Took me just a little over an hour to get there. Nice to have a table to eat at for dinner, that’s 4 nights in a row.
After dinner I had 4 more miles to get to La Ventana Natural Arch Trailhead where I would camp for the night.
Even though I was on the road I got great views of the mountain cliff right next to the highway. There was a sign on the highway calling it the Narrows.
Finally got to the trailhead and got a great look at the arch. I thought I had read it was a 9 mile round trip to view it but it was only about a tenth of a mile. I must have read about the 9 miles being the rim trail.
Found a stealth place to camp in the area even though there was a no camping sign in the parking lot. I had read other hikers camping here with no problems, hope it works out for me as well.
Tomorrow is town day and a zero day the next.