Miles Hiked: 23
Total Milage: 275.5
Location: Aragon Well
I almost completely forgot to write my blog tonight when I laid down in bed. Today felt like such a long day for some reason.
The day started around 6am when we woke up to a light dusting of snow. It was 36 degrees in the morning according to Jenga who carries a thermometer. I didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag. Eventually I slowly packed up my things and left camp around 7am with everyone else.
Our first stop of the day was a spring about 3 miles from camp. There were no other water sources for over 20 miles so I filled up all four one liter bottles I carry for such an occasion. The spring was contained in a metal cylinder in the ground. To scoop the water out, I had to reach down a ways into the hole.
We had a small amount of road walking left to do before the CDT finally went to an actual trail! I was able to get cell service for the first time in a couple of day on a ridge around mile 5. I sat down and made some calls to my family but it was absolutely freezing. I was at 9,000 feet and the second I stopped moving I would instantly be cold all day.
I descended the ridge with everyone else except Free Fall who I wouldn’t see for the rest of the day. We all took a break before deciding to take our first “Ley Alternate” not marked on the Guthook mapping application. I have a separate set of maps downloaded with some alternate routes created by a hiker named “Johnathan Ley”. The route ended up being five miles long and cut off one mile of the “official CDT”. Almost no one walks the official CDT all the way to Canada unless they are trying to set a record. For most hikers the CDT is a pick your own route type of adventure. I would say half the time I’ve been on the official trail it’s not well marked so I end up walking far off of it anyway. This alternate route went down a very rough diet road before leading down a valley with some lightly treaded footpaths. Once we made it back to the actual trail we took another break.
Throughout the day it would randomly start snowing even though the sun was out. When we finally hiked up the rest of the mountain and down the ridge I could see some very ominous clouds in the distance. When I last checked the weather it said it was going to rain and snow today. Once we got to the bottom of the mountain we took another break where we originally planned on camping. I was feeling pretty good so I wanted to go another four miles to the next water source where Free Fall told us he was camping. I cooked my dinner along with everyone else and we all walked the last four together. When we got there it started thundering and lighting nearby so we pitched our tents as fast as we could and collected water from the giant tank that also had gold fish swimming in it. When we got to camp our friend “Plant” was there but he said he hadn’t seen Free Fall since lunch. I was a little worried just because I had expected Free Fall to camp there. He never ended up showing up.
I was so cold I just shivered in my sleeping bag until it was warmed up. It ended up lightly raining for most of the night. I was pretty tired from today. It felt really long for no reason.