Day 45 on the CDT -May 31

Platoro to campsite past Summitville
16 miles

20130602-212916.jpg Back to world class hiking. Colorado reared its beautiful head today , instead of acting like a donkey kicking us aside our skulls.
We ate breakfast next to a guy, last name I think is Rice, from College Station, Texas who completed the Tour Divide bicycle race last year. He had a huge breakfast, looked like four thick slices of French toast and a gargantuan platter of eggs, potatoes, and bacon. He was 5 days out from Antelope Wells and is currently attempting a yo-yo of the Tour Divide. He told us he’ll average 140 miles a day in order to make the start of the race in early June in Banff, where he’ll race all the way back to the Mexico border again. Big guy- 6’4″. Not a biker’s frame at all. He said we were crazy to walk the Divide.
We did mostly road walking today, but the roads had zero cars or trucks on them. We put 6 miles down in the first 1 hour and 50 minutes today. It was a big day of climbing, some 2,500 feet today. Lots of snow melt coming down the rocky streams crossing our paths.
The gloriously huge mountains all around us were bursting with colors today. The skies were deep blue, with cumulus clouds – favorable and streaking across the sky.
We walked a desolate forest road for 9 miles, then turned up a stream flowage and followed an ancient trail 6 more ascending miles that put us smack dab at Summitville, way up high and unfortunately the location of one of the top the Superfund cleanup sites in the nation. We got out if there as quickly as possible. They ripped the side off a majestic mountain and used arsenic to leach out the ores. Sad.
We are now walking forest road to Ell Norte, where we know there are two outdoor outfitters and stores. Train has to get shoes. Has to.
After we walk El Norte, we plan to get to South Fork, where we’ll pick up some more specialized maps that will allow us to reach Creede.
The CDT suits the MegaTex style very well, in that no two people are likely to ever hike this trail the same manner or path, as it is an incomplete trail, more of a corridor that closely follows the actual Divide itself.
Some of you know that I listen to podcasts of my great friend Lock’s Monday nigh radio broadcast. Well, he hit me over the head with one song I heard while hiking alongside the roading Wightman Fork off forest road 250. I highly recommend listening to the “She and Him” (M. Ward and Zoey Deschanel ) rendition of the doo-wop gem ” Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.” It took about 4 seconds of listening to the song for me to melt into a sobbing lump as I stumbled along within the beauty that surrounded me.
This spontaneous crying- loud and wet, only happens to me when I am out, and away from the trappings of society in these months long hikes that I partake in. When we are trapped in what Birdlegs so aptly calls the Shower World we need emotional armor to allow ourselves survival in that often hurtful and overwhelming setting.
Make no mistake, I am not crying because I’m sad- it is uncontained, overwhelming emotion that passes through me.
Get some. Somehow, somewhere. It’s a blessing.

2 thoughts on “Day 45 on the CDT -May 31

  1. jory

    you know, tom, when we have that ‘natural overwhelm’ situation come up…..that surge of unnamable feeling in a natural setting…’s tempting to formulate an explanation for it out of the snippets of thought which remain in the thinking mind at the time….yet to me this is the wonderful encounter with life’s central mystery….to be enjoyed and encouraged as often as possible….but not particularly thought about….its also a time when i’m proud to be a blubberer…..what lovely rain….


  2. Ham Niles

    It happens in nature sometimes and it happens in dreams sometimes for me- that cleansing torrent of emotion from the Earth through some saint or angel and up to God. Sometimes for a moment you get to be near that angel and feel the power and love. Great post, Tom! Thanks for being you so completely and reporting back to the rest of us. Big hugs!


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