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Shoofly Photography - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2016

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City: Canon City
State: Colorado
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 17, 2016
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016
Start: Window Rock
End: Somewhere in CO
Daily Distance: 18
Trip Distance: 53.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 434
Journal Visits: 917
Guestbook Views: 5
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Continental Divide Trail Map

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Good morning!

Lost? me?

It was a long day today. It started out great - as I was packing up, I heard elk in the valley below, and got to see a huge herd covering the slopes below. Once I started hiking, they saw me and bolted. I heard a bunch of coyotes this morning as well. After passing by Window Rock, I had a long descent down the next canyon, following along a new section of trail with some amazing waterfalls. When I reached the valley below, I had a choice: I could either follow the trail, which skirted wide around the base of the valley, adding nearly a mile to the day, or I could cut straight across the meadow and get wet feet in the boggy ground. I chose poorly, and hiked straight across the meadow - after all, my legs were already soaked from all the wet brush, so why not? The meadow was really wet, and I ended up wading through thigh deep creeks and struggling through sucking mud. When I got back to the trees, I couldn't find the trail. I assumed it probably stayed up higher in the trees, so kept bushwhacking back and forth trying to find it. Turns out, I'd missed the trail where it turned and headed up the slope to the mountain above. I'm smart. Fortunately, Guthook saved me and pointed me back the trail after I finally quit being hardheaded and looked at my GPS.



There was another tough climb after lunch into a high ridgeline, then through another wet valley. The trail led over some really exposed ridgelines in the afternoon, and I had to stop and wait out a storm before pressing over the high point. The trail was getting more overgrown with every mile, and as the afternoon started drawing on, the trail dropped me down into another deep valley, which is where I'd planned to camp. Unfortunately, every flat spot was incredibly muddy, so I decided to press on up to the next pass. It was a really hard, steep climb up through really high brush. Moose and bear tracks were everywhere, and it was spooky - I really didn't want to run into either one in the fading light. I pushed on as hard as I could and finally reached treeline, where I found a small camp where I could set up between the rocks. My legs are scratched to heck and simply worn out. It was a hard day, but really pretty. As I ate dinner, I saw another herd of elk and a nice buck on the ridge above camp this evening. I'm hoping for no deer tonight. I had a few minutes of hail this afternoon and cold wind along the high ridges, but lucked out and the clouds passed. It's going to be another cold night.

Entry 5 of 5
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Shoofly Photography

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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