John's CDT
Saturday, September 18, 2004
A Divide Day

I was on the Divide all day, and it was great. OK, there was one section, a few miles, where topography forced the trail down off the Divide and onto scenic logging roads. But it got right back to the Divide as soon as I could. Well, actually the designated route stayed on the scenic logging roads, bypassing miles of spectacular Divide. Both Jonathan and Wolf gave me info on how to stay on top.

I climbed a lot. Parkview Mountain (CO8) was the high point at 12,300', my highest yet this trip, I think. The forest gave way to open grassland as I climbed, but not before some vague, steep route-finding. The approach to the mountain offered peak Divide hiking: steady wind, unobstructed views, and a grassy path underfoot.

View up to Parkview Mountain with CDT cairn.

Crossing Colorado Highway 125, the trail climbs to the Divide, which is a vertical rock spine here. Aspens, yellow in celebration, lined the picturesque section of trail. Who would have thought of vertical rocks with yellow-leafed trees.
At the first point the Divide got wider, I set up camp. Since darkness was rapidly enclosing my home for the night, I first cleared a spot for my bag, then set up the tent. Dinner was my next priority. I'd delayed cooking until I had enough water.
The water came from a friendly hunter at the highway. He also gave me an orange vest for safety when the big guns hunting starts in two weeks. It would seem this last two weeks has been just a warm-up. Oh joy.
Dinner was my yummy Thai glop.

I wasn't in my bag 10 minutes before it started raining and blowing. I moved my bag into the tent. I knew tonight it would likely rain, but I had to try to sleep out.

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