Miles: 19.67
Camp: CDT mile 462.67

Despite having a dream in which I was very upset at my mom for eating all of my pumpkin pie, I woke up feeling great. The sun was rising over the canyons below, and I was ready to keep walking with my new schedule. It really is making a big difference to limit my miles right now, and everyone has to wait out the snow in Colorado anyway…so why hurry up and wait?

The walk down the mesa was amazingly beautiful. Every turn had me catching my breath and wanting to take a picture. It was unreal.

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Eventually I was off the mesa and searching for a spring. I found it quick enough and ate some snacks while I filtered water (the spring emptied into a cow trough with no other access). I was in a great mood and put on some music to make the rest of the morning even better. That was until I saw the baby cow…

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I hope he finds his mama 😦

It was just standing there looking at me, tugging at my heartstrings when I realized it was clearly alone. Where could it’s mama be? As I pondered this, I found myself off trail and had to backtrack a ways to get back on course. The trail led up over another mesa with cool sandstone formations and a plant that smells like Pho. All I could think of after that was Pho and Banh Mi…and I highly doubt I’ll find a Vietnamese restaurant on this trail. Fingers crossed!

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I camped on the red one last night

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I then worked my way to a well that has run dry. I had expected this possible outcome, so still had a liter to spare. I ate lunch there to fuel up for the 5.3 miles to the next source…a cache. I’ve been conditioned to never rely on a cache, but I sure hoped it was going to be there. It was getting hot.

I walked through many small and interesting canyons before finding myself back on a mesa. The day grew hotter and my liter grew smaller. I was so very thirsty and still not even sure if the water would be there. I trucked on feeling tired and dehydrated, eventually stumbling upon the cache. There was water!

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Thank you Trujillo family! You saved this bunny from some dusty tears!

I drank a liter immediately and then carried one out. Cache etiquette is 2 liters per hiker unless it is an emergency. Since I knew of a spring coming up before camp, I wasn’t in an emergency.

I grabbed a couple of liters from the spring while chatting with new friend Numbers. Then I found camp just shy of 20 miles. The trail climbs up from here, and I don’t see trees up there, so I’m happy to make these trees my home. I’ll short my miles for the day with no effect on my future plans. Tomorrow is the last full day on trail before town…and I am ready for a shower, but happy enough without one. People are rushing to town, but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here for the trail. The sweet, sweet trail.

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Sunset from my tent

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It was a lie!

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View from the loo
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