Day 27 - made it to Colorado (22.5 miles)
Updated: Aug 4
June 5, 2021
Miles: 22.5 miles
Soon after getting all settled for bed I hear what appears to be rain hitting my tent. Never came down very hard and didn’t last very long. I was surprised when I woke up this morning it didn’t look like it rained. Also it sounded like there were strong winds but I never felt it, must because of the tree cover and/or the wind was howling down by the lakes.
Woke up at my normal time of 6am but didn’t feel the need the rush packing up as I only had 20 miles today. After about an hour at camp I was off to hiking towards Colorado.
Leaving the campground I was hiking on the edge of a cliff. Wasn’t too bad but had there been snow it would had been scary.
The ridge walk didn’t last long as I entered thick forest where I was having to walk around or over some tree blow downs. I knew this would be a preview for later today as there are suppose to be a lot of blow downs 7 miles out from the border.
Forest hiking didn’t last as long as I thought which then took me out on the top of the mountain with a nice 360 degree view. I could see Colorado and it’s snow top peaks.
At times hiking on the top peak was very rocky so that was the trade off for the view.
I then had a downhill to a nice little stream where I decided to take my long break for the day, about 11 miles in. It was much earlier than normal, 10:30am, but I knew this would be the best stop for water and a flat spot.
Towards the end of my break I could see large clouds coming over the peak just north of me so that was my que to leave.
At first it seemed like I was going to miss the storm but then the trail turned right into it. The clouds got darker and could start hearing thunder. By now I’m out in this big meadow. I knew I needed to get to tree cover so I kept going even though I was heading up the mountain, it was my best bet. There were some other hikers and/or fishermen hanging out.
I finally got to tree cover and start looking for a good spot to camp out while the storm passes. I keep going looking for the perfect spot then I start to see lighting and a big bang of thunder. I jumped and ran to the nearest group of trees for me to take cover under. I sat down and got my umbrella out. Soon the rain came and hail. The hail was very soft, more like snow just a little denser.
I waited under a group of trees for about 40 minutes when it seemed the storm had passed. I could see some blue between the trees so I started up again. I could hear some thunder kind of heading my way again but not like before, plus I was in thick forest.
Once in the thick forest I had several tree blow downs to deal with. I had heard this from other hikers but they made it out to be a lot worse or the snow had melted really fast.
Just before 3:30pm I made it down to Dixie Creek to get some water before the final 0.7 of a mile to Colorado. Not sure why I took as a long as of a break as I did but finally got into Colorado just before 4pm.
No one was there to take a picture so took a selfie plus I have my tripods and phone holder to take pictures of me.
I hung around for an hour taking in the view of Colorado then another hiker showed up. We took each other’s picture at the boarder then hiked down to Cumbres Pass to camp. The current spot didn’t have a lot of options and was suppose to rain, so best to get off the mountain.
It was a 3 mile hike down to the road. We crossed the road to find a camping spot. Plan to hitch into Chama tomorrow morning.