Monday, September 7, 2020

Day 27- On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

Saturday September 05, 2020
Stealth Spot(367.4) to Stony Pass Rd(391) 23.6mi
Total Miles: 439
Elevation: 12,496ft

It wasn’t as cold last night as I feared. Maybe that was because I was in my sleeping bag by six o’clock, so I had time to warm it up. I also had time to reread my blog from the cdt for the upcoming miles. I haven’t really set myself any difficult goals on this trip. I decided to see if I could emulate the miles I did in 2018. I was on day 60 on the cdt, so I figured this would be a good challenge, seeing how I’m only on day 27. If I could make it, it would be my biggest official elevation gain day of the trip and my top three biggest mileage day. I was packed up and on trail by 6:30am. I spent the first few hours of my morning climbing up to the high point of the Colorado Trail, 13.271ft. The climb wasn’t very steep, but for some reason my legs were sluggish. I’m going to go ahead and blame the elevation. 

Sunrise over the San Juans 

Yoda at the high point 

Today was another beautiful day in the San Juan mountain range. It is hard to believe it is going to snow in a few days. Today was really hot with zero opportunities for shade. I stayed above tree line all day long. I made sure to put on sunscreen this morning once I removed my long sleeve shirt. After hiking about nine miles o finally dropped below 13,000ft and hit my first water source of the day. I decided this was a good time for my first break of the day. This was the farthest I have hiked this trail without taking a break. I knew if I wanted to hit my goal today I needed to keep moving with very few breaks. The theme of the day was to climb up to a saddle, drop down into a basin, then climb back out of the basin. I think I hit 8 different basins today. Even without taking very many breaks I still felt like I stopped to smell the roses. Mainly because I was surrounded by views all day long. 

Cool rock formations

Alpine lake

Midway down a basin

Another lake(bottom of a basin)

Climbing up to a saddle 

I saw a few day hikers and numerous mountain bikers today. I stooped and chatted with a NoBo section hiker. Soul Flower is a 73 year old women section hiking the CDT. She is my hero. She is averaging about fifteen miles per day. Just goes to show you that age is just a number. She looked pretty spry hiking up a giant climb. I wish I could have talked to her longer, but we both still had miles to make. She had to go another nine miles, and I had about seven to go. At this point in the day I was pretty sure I would hit my goal, but I was definitely getting tired. Today is the first day since I switched shoes that my feet weren’t killing me. I think they have finally adjusted, but it could just be because I didn’t have any really long descents. 

Beautiful, big, rugged mountains

My water sources today were all high elevation springs. I drank straight from the source without filtering. Ice cold water in this heat tasted mighty fine. Around five o’clock I was really ready to take a nice long break. I only had a little over three miles left. I sat downstairs to eat a snickers and drink some water. I could see four hikers in the distance. I decided to get up and finish my day. I couldn’t take the risk that they would pass me. I camped at Stony Pass Road before, so I knew there wouldn’t be camp sites for all of us. About a mile later I crossed over the head waters of the Rio Grande. I enjoy coming across head waters. It is fascinating to see how small, giant rivers start out. 

Head Waters of the Rio Grande

I hit my goal today! I made it to camp by 6:30, a full hour before I thought I would. I did this section on the cdt much faster and according to my blog it was much easier, but I was just pleased I did it at all. 

Big views all day long

People camping in an awesome spot. I never choose my campsites based on views. I always choose mileage over beauty. In fact, I never would have thought about camping there

Camped inside an old rotted cabin


I have three more sleeps until I finish the trail. I’ll hike about six miles tomorrow morning and then the CT and the CDT split ways. I’ll finish hiking on a section of trail I’ve never seen before. I’m pretty excited about that. 

“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you've achieved - and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses - you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.”
- Jack Canfield


  1. Love the ice cold water. What an inspiration Soul Flower is. Watching your weather and thinking (hoping) you will be home just ahead of the snow.

  2. Stay on course and get in before snow. Loved your views for the day. I’m sure you liked not having to filter water. Talk to you soon. Safe on course😘

  3. Awesome pictures - sunrise, alpine lake and sunset were my favorites! Thanks for letting us come on your journey too! Praying that you’re getting home as I’m posting this message. Been hearing on our news about snows heading your way today!!!

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