CDT, Day 13 — July 15 — 26.5 miles
After a breezy night, I got going on an ATV track that more or less followed the divide. I needed to be vigilant for junctions where I might take a wrong turn. Easy walking in the cool morning air for 5 miles until the CDT left the ATV track. Lots of blowdowns.
I got water at a creek at 7 miles. Two miles later, I crossed a gravel road and entered logging territory. The first logged area had no indication where the trail resumed on the other side — nice! The second at least had flagging along the former trail, which the loggers kept clear of major tree limbs.
The third was not yet logged but I spotted numerous large blowdowns. I got trapped for a few minutes in one of them when I slipped and got my left foot stuck between the fallen trees.
At one point, I accidentally turned my cell phone brightness to near zero. Without my cell phone and my Guthook app, navigation became hit and miss. Fortunately, I got phone service and spoke to Harlem, who told how to undo my mistake. The trail finally left the forest and ran through beautiful grassland (see photo).
I dropped down from the divide and walked on ranch roads to Wyoming Highway 71. Rather than take a chance on more frustrations on the official CDT, I decided to undertake a 40-mile road walk to Rawlins.
I learned from a rancher I met earlier in the day (and who kindly gave a bottle of water) that I would find water in several creeks that passed under the highway. After 8 miles of road walking, I set up my tent in the highway right-of-way. A long, hard day.