Day 22 on the Continental Divide Trail

What a difference a day makes. I slept in a bit not wanting to arrive at the grocery store before 7 am. I packed my gear and walked Smith’s supermarket. Just as I got there, a fellow pulled over and offered me a ride to the trailhead, reducing the road walk by 3 miles. I declined. I bought food for the 5-day hike to Chama, including a pint of Talenti gelato. Aside from the 1000-calorie treat, I wanted the screw-cap container for mixing protein powder and Gatorade. As I walked along the highway eating the gelato, a doctor pulled over and offered me a ride to the trailhead. I accepted. He dropped me off and I started gaining elevation on a constructed trail. Most enjoyable. As the morning progressed, clouds started appearing over Mt. Taylor, the highest point in NM (see photo). Just before I stopped for lunch, light rain began. I ate lunch under a juniper tree. After lunch, a storm formed over the mountain and pelted me with hail for 30 minutes. I crunched on the accumulated hail. Walking was easy on the trail and old logging roads. I stopped briefly at a water cache to top off my bottles. About 4:30, I had made my 24 miles for day plus rain threatened. I set up my camp under a ponderosa pine and made an early dinner. I sat in my sleeping bag to stay warm. About 6 pm, another storm rolled in with lightning and thunder, not much rain but lots of wind. In spite of the stormy weather, I’ve had an enjoyable day.

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