CDT, Day 17 — July 19 — 27 miles
On U.S. 287 at 6:30 a.m., walking 3 miles to a to road where the CDT exits west. But when I got there, there was no road there. So, onward for another mile to another road, where I walked a half mile west and finally found a CDT marker, but no evidence of a trail. Forget the "official" CDT.
Back to the highway for a 7-mile road walk. Along the way, vacationing trail angel Jennifer stopped her trailer and gave me cool water. A short while later, I ate lunch at scenic Bell Springs (see photo).
A mile after that, the CDT left the highway on an old pipeline right-of-way through salt-desert shrub land then through sagebrush steppe. The headwind blew hard and the air warmed.
At a junction with a paved road, I realized that I was unlikely to find a very agreeable campsite, so I decided to walk to Bull Springs — the next water, 7 miles away — and hope for the best. The effort was well rewarded with a perfect, level grassy area for camping and a fenced spring. No bugs, either. Yeah! I set up camp with four other CDT hikers.
A long day but worth the effort.