We have now completed the entire state of New Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail.
After leaving Cuba, NM the trail climbed in elevation and changes from desert to alpine forest and mountains. Much of the trail is above 10,000 feet and often closer to 11,000 feet.
Our week hiking was made a little more challenging with snow covered trails, downed trees, rain and endless soggy meadows keeping our socks and shoes wet.
Deb has reached her goal of hiking New Mexico and will be taking a break from hiking until the snow thaws in Colorado so we can finish the Colorado Trail that we started last summer. I’m evaluating the snow conditions and taking a short break to decide where to resume hiking next.
A thunderstorm on the way.
The weather has been interesting on the Colorado Trail. It rains every day like clockwork at three PM — except on the days it rains at noon or five PM or during the night. The thunderstorms usually don’t last very long, but they can be pretty exciting with lightning and loud thunder and sometimes hail. If you are planning on hiking the Colorado Trail bring some extra socks, it’s a challenge keeping them dry.
Deb in an Aspen grove in the Lost Creek Wilderness
We have made it 72 miles on the Colorado Trail to Kenosha Pass where we are making a quick stop in the small town of Jefferson to resupply.
The hike has been wonderful so far and we have met quite a number of fellow hikers who are hiking to Durango. About 15 hikers were camped the first night near the South Platte River Trailhead.
Rain showers have appeared like clockwork every day but we haven’t used our heavy rain gear yet except umbrella and poncho. Luckily yesterday’s heavy rain fell after we were snug in our tent. We are feeling the climbs but are keeping up with some younger hikers. We feel exhilarated and exhausted but the scenery is SO worth the efforts.
Photo: Deb in an Aspen grove in the Lost Creek Wilderness.
The Painted Desert
Today we went from movie stars (sort of) to the Painted Desert. We spent the night at the El Rancho Hotel and Motel in Gallup, which claims many movie stars have lodged there while filming in the nearby desert. We stayed in the less expensive motel, but enjoyed our stay. We stopped for much of the day in Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert and then continued on to Holbrook.
The historic El Ranch Hotel
The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert
Day 174: September 23rd
Mile 2653.8 to Manning Park, BC
This morning I walked the final six miles to the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Canadian border where I found Deb waiting for me. She had camped at the trail camp about 2/10 mile into Canada.
We celebrated briefly (along with a handful of other hikers who arrived at the same time), took a few photos, and drank a tiny bottle of Champagne that Deb carried in.
Deb and I then hiked eight miles to the Manning Park where we had a late lunch and checked into the lodge.
2,660 miles of continuous footsteps from the Mexican border to the Canadian border are done. The hike has been an amazing journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
Along the Pacific Crest Trail
Day 172: September 21st
Mile 2617.6 to Mile 2635.9
Very pretty hiking today.
I arrived at Harts Pass around lunch time, where the staff at the Guard Station was very hiker-friendly. They had ice water for hikers and offered use of the staff trash cans.
I ended up camping with a large group of about 10 hikers camped tonight.
Day 171: September 20th
Mile 2599.6 (Rainy Pass) to Mile 2617.6
We spent last night in Mazama at Ravensong’s Roost. Deb drove me back to Rainy Pass after breakfast at the Mazama store. The store makes a good breakfast and was packed with a mix of old timers and rock climbers.
The hike was very scenic today mostly traversing the sides of high mountain ridges. Excellent weather. A joy to be hiking even though the end is near.