Day 26 - lots of ups/downs and no storms (30.0 miles)
Updated: Aug 4, 2022
June 4, 2021
Miles: 30.0 miles
Well it was another hard morning to get up. Actually I got up at 5:20am to pee but it was kind of cold so I went back in my sleeping bag and tried to sleep for a little while longer. Finally by 7am I got out of my tent and started my morning chores before packing up and hiking out.
Everything was soaked from setting up in the rain last night. The rain only lasted about an hour but plenty of time to get my tent wet. Packing up wet gear is very fun.
Right off the bat I had to cross a pretty good moving creek. There was a giant log that one could maybe walk across but it was still wet so I settled to walk through the creek and get my feet and legs wet.
After the creek crossing I had a lot of uphill hiking, I had 4,500 feet of climbing to look forward to.
The first mile was through thick forest and rocky trail so it was slow going. Then it opened up it to a nice meadow.
I spent the rest of the day climbing in and out of meadows then came to a campground with a lot of people. I saw some good size RVs and trailers so I thought for sure someone would offer me food or a drink but no luck.
At the other end of the campground was a covered picnic table next to a lake with lots of people fishing it. New Mexico people sure do like their fishing. I spent an hour at the lake eating an early lunch and chatting. Also I got all my wet gear out in the sun so it could dry. Then took off for more climbing.
The next 5 or 6 miles were on a snowmobile trail so it was a wide trail and very gradual. Then after that I had a good decent downhill to a stream where I ran into some other hikers. They were just finishing up their break so I didn’t chat with them long.
Then the last 6 miles were all uphill to a campground where I would be staying the night. Right as I started I could see a big thunderhead building up. The whole day had been very nice, just blue skies and white clouds. I kept hoping I would be turning off and not keep heading towards it.
Even though it was all uphill, it wasn’t too bad. I got great views and reminded me of hiking in Washington.
With 2 miles to go to camp I started soaking my dinner so it would be ready to eat when I got in.
I arrive around 7:30pm so I had a good hour to eat, filter water and set up my tent.
The campgrounds is pretty remote and basically have to hike in. There are 2 sections, lower and upper. The lower seemed to be where everyone was camping tonight. I maybe saw 10 tents but I doubt they are all CDT hikers. The lower one is next to 2 small lakes. I chose the upper just so I have less uphill hiking tomorrow. I’m sharing this part with only 1 other hiker. It also gives a nice view of the lakes.
Hard to tell if it’s going to storm tonight. It does seem like the storms are moving away but I do think I can hear thunder off in the distance.
I’m only 20 miles from the Colorado border. I could go into town tomorrow but I may take it easy and hike just to the border and wait until Sunday morning to hitch into Chama. Cumbres Pass is 3 miles into Colorado, that’s where you hitch the 12 miles into Chama. I’ve been hitting it pretty hard the last 7 days, averaging over 30 miles a day. I know those days are over for awhile. Tomorrow is when it starts to get hard. The last 10 miles to Colorado has a good bit of snow and blow downs from what I hear from other hikers that have been through that area.