Day 23 on the Continental Divide

When I awoke, the skies still swirled. Yesterday’s storm wasn’t quite finished. I started hiking on a nice trail through ponderosa pine forest with some patches of aspen on deeper soils. The aspen leaves had just unfurled. I had lots of short ups and downs. At 9 miles on the day, I left the ponderosa pine forest and the trail. A Forest Service road replaced the trail. Walking on the road was sometimes easy when it wasn’t rocky but road walking isn’t as enjoyable as trail hiking. After lunch, clouds formed, and I thought I might encounter another electrical storm. But the dark clouds evaporated, replaced with billowing cumulus clouds. The scenery consisted of piñon-juniper woodland and dry grassland with Arizona fescue. Water was scarce today but I carried the plenty. The photo shows one site where I didn’t get water. The green water wasn’t appealing. I followed two sets of footprints much of the day. Shortly before I planned to find a campsite, I found the source of the footprints: Marty McFly and Kale sitting beside the trail resting. They wanted to hike another 4 miles to water, but I was bushed. I quickly found a grove of ponderosa pines and set up camp. 24.3 miles today. I’ll reach Cuba, NM in 3 more days.

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