CT mile 406 – walking a blue sky

at 37.7339, -107.6606

I guess the morning does not always predict the day. Mornings usually have the best weather of the day in the mountains, so when a day starts off as ugly as today did, I feared the worst.

The morning continued the night’s wind and rain, with low scudding clouds whipping through the valley. I was warm and dry under my tarp and in my sleeping bag, and had no desire to get out. But I needed to make some miles, and had another 13,000 foot pass to cross; waiting would only make it worse.

mile 383 – San Juan moorlands

Dark gray clouds slid over the high ridges, obscuring them and threatening storms. But the storms never came. The wind shifted from southwest to west northwest, and the clouds began to separate, to lift, and then to dissipate.

mile 386 – another 13K high point

mile 386 – High plateaus and Needles

I walked through the high tundra country along the Divide for some fifteen miles, scurrying at first, but finally relaxing as it became clear that I was not going to get walloped by a storm today. I skirted the headwaters of the Rio Grande, then headed down Elk Creek to the Animas River.

For the first time in a week I saw live forest – for whatever reason, the spruces have been spared here.

mile 398 – Down Elk Creek

mile 402 – Vestal Peak sits serene