Day 20 on the Continental Divide Trail

Just before I went to bed, I lanced the big blister on my left heel. A torrent of slightly bloody fluid streamed from the hole into my bandana. Will the pressure relief help my heel tomorrow? Last night was cold. I barely stayed warm even with my long John’s and wind jacket. As I started hiking at 6:30, I could see my hiker pals from yesterday already on the road. The 3-mile walk to the Cebola Wilderness turnoff was uneventful. My feet seemed to be ok. Rather than take the longer Cebola route, I stayed on the gravel road for 4 more miles to NM Hwy 117. I turned northeast and walked parallel to the road in the right-of-way. In 6 miles, I met the Cebola route. A half mile later, I stopped at a solar-powered stock well for clear water and lunch in the shade of the solar panels. After lunch I continued along Hwy 117 through a road construction zone. As I was leaning against a traffic sign, a Cebola County deputy stopped to see if I was ok. He offered me a cheeseburger he had bought in Grants. I gratefully accepted and ate it as I walked. The scenery improved dramatically in The Narrows where the highway ran between sheer sandstone cliffs and lava beds. La Ventana Arch appeared close to the highway (see photo). A few miles later I came to the Zuni-Acoma Trailhead. I turned into the parking lot and found a delightful camp site in the shade of a juniper. 24 miles today. Tomorrow I’ll enjoy a cleanup at a motel in Grants.

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