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PeterS - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2013

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Peter Shaw
City: Rancho Palos Verdes
State: Ca
Country: US
Begins: Jul 6, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Jul 7th, 2013

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 401
Journal Visits: 19,615
Guestbook Views: 2,116
Guestbook Entrys: 47

Last PLB Location

Continental Divide Trail Map

Day 102

Last night's rain lasted at least a couple of hours - I think I fell asleep before it stopped. In the morning the tent was wet on the inside from condensation and on the outside from the rain. Once the sun came up I could see it was a clear blue sky so there is some hope the weather will be nicer today. I'm still in a “take it slow to start with" mode so I wasn't in any particular hurry to get going, although I was hiking by just after 7:00 am. And that was after I discovered my camera on the phone wasn't working when I wanted to get a picture of the lake and the Granite Peaks behind. The screen comes up but all the operating buttons are missing. In fact the whole phone seems to be playing up. It was probably a mistake that before I left home I updated the firmware and the operating system. It seemed fine at home but since I've been on the trail it seems to be using a lot more battery even though most of the time it is switched off. Many of the apps seem slow and the Word program I'm using to compose the journal has an annoying habit of shutting down the document and not saving it. After typing much of yesterday's journal at least three times I'm now in the habit off saving after every sentence.

The trail was a gentle roller coaster as it gradually gained some more altitude. Eventually I reached Cube rock pass which was just over 11000 ft. I was coming upon quite a lot of snow patches that had to be crossed. They weren't difficult as the snow was quite hard and the slopes were gentle.

The scenery on the pass was really spectacular with beautiful mountain lakes surrounded by massive granite monoliths. I tried the camera again hoping that it might have warmed up, but no such luck. It looks like this trip is going to be without photographs unless it magically cures itself.

The trail down was very rocky and hard to follow as it entered a larger pile of rocks and not have any obvious exit. The same happened with some of the snow patches as well. A little further down the trail was completely wiped out by a massive rock avalanche. Fortunately it was in a narrow and steep walled canyon so it was pretty obvious where the trail went but getting there required quite a lot of bouldering. Past the avalanche area the trail went into forest that covered the west side of the canyon while the east side was still the massive granite walls. Apart from several tricky water crossings that got my feet wet, it was generally uneventful in the forest except it kept going downhill for many miles. After a while it paralleled the Green River which was presumably named that because the water was cloudy with a green tinge - I'm guessing some of the water is glacier melt and that has silt dissolved in it which produces the cloudiness.

Finding a campsite on this section was difficult because the trail was cut out of a slope and flat spots were covered in trees that had blown down. The forest here is mostly dead from that beetle that has decimated many of the forests out west. I actually heard a tree tumble over this afternoon - a sharp crack followed by about five seconds of branches crashing together. That was a first I think for me on these hikes.

Eventually I did find a reasonable location. There were a few dead trees around, but I took the optimist's view that none of these widow makers would come down tonight. I'm camped at 8000 ft so I dropped 3000 ft from the pass and it looks like it'll continue descending tomorrow morning. It was also a much quiet day as I only met three people, but they were all interesting folks to have a brief chat with. Sorry about the lack of pictures today.

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Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Part Quatre

The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more: www.continentaldividetrail.org

 

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