Daily Miles: 16
Total Miles: 655
It felt like such a luxury to be able to get up when there is full sunlight, instead of the mostly dark of when we normally get up. There was no rain, but still grey clouds when we got up.
The first half of the day was a gradual climb along a creek as we worked our way through the valley. It ended at the trailhead for San Luis Peak, which is a 14,000 footer. The CDT doesn’t go up the peak, but some hikers do the climb just for fun.
Along the climb through the valley, the clouds hung very low. We had a brief moment of hope when the sky seemed to clear and the sun came out. But quickly enough, the clouds were back and started to come down into the valley. As we got close to the end of the valley, we were just walking through clouds and getting a bit of rain.
The trail went down the other side of the pass and made a sweeping circle around another valley. There were great views all around.
After lunch, the trail started in on four good climbs as we worked ourselves over several more passes. The rain started in again just before we headed up another pass, so we put up a tarp between two bushes. We sat under it for about twenty minutes until the rain let up. Of course, once we had gotten the tarp packed up, the rain started in again. So, we just decided to start walking.
The rain continued pretty much the rest of the afternoon. There were several times where we thought the rain was over so we took off our ponchos. But almost immediately, the rain would start again. The weather the past few days has just felt so unusual for summer Colorado…we are used to mostly blue skies, with a passing afternoon thunderstorm. That was what we had experienced on the Colorado Trail, but this has just been miserable weather all day.
We were limited with our miles today, because there is a nine mile treeless stretch starting within the next mile. We didn’t want to commit to doing all those miles today, with the late start and the bad weather, so we decided to camp before the treeless stretch started.
We got to camp around 5pm and put up our tarps and hammocks in the rain. Luckily the rain has stopped for now, so hopefully things will dry out a bit.