Day 28 on the Continental Divide Trail

Yesterday’s clouds produced a few drops of rain last night. I slept toasty in the cold-weather sleeping bag that Riley sent. I also enjoyed the cookies that he and Sam made. The day started with a short climb then 5 miles of easy walking thru ponderosa pine, piñon, and juniper forest. A 1,100-ft elevation climb wore me out due to the steep slopes. Eventually I reached the top and a moist meadow where I had a rest. After a 2-mile old logging road walk, I ascended a low ridge then lost elevation to grassy meadow where I dined under a large ponderosa pine tree. Well fed with tortillas, cream cheese, and Colby cheese, followed a logging road thru burned forest then descended a steep trail thru more burned forest in the Rio Chama Wilderness. My reward was a flowing stream at the bottom. I soaked my feet and got water. The trail followed the stream for several miles. At one point just before a stream crossing, a tripped on a stump and cartwheeled into the creek. No harm done, even to my cell phone. Onward toward the Rio Chama. I crossed it (a serious river even by western standards) on a bridge then turned east on a gravel road for a 8.5-mile walk to Ghost Ranch. In 1.3 miles I came upon a BLM dispersed camp site. I found a shady spot under a juniper about 50 feet from the river. A family of campers invited me over for watermelon. What luck! I cooked dinner and rinsed off in the river then rejoined my friends for tacos, beer, and conversation. What a wonderful end to the day. 21.0 miles today.

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