CDT day 105: what kind of nachos

August 17
Mileage: 27
1962.5 miles hiked

I toss and turn all night, waking at one point to notice that the drizzle has stopped and there’s an eerie quiet up here on the ridge. So, so quiet. How often, in the built up human world, does one get to experience quiet like this? Never I think.

I wake for the last time at 5:30 and can’t get back to sleep. I lay in my sleeping bag for a long time, feeling warm and cozy in all my layers. It’s nice to finally feel warm. If only layers didn’t make my pack feel so heavy…

I use the last of my water for breakfast so I’m waterless for the first eight miles this morning. Hiking thirsty always makes me a little grumpy, so I’m stoked when I finally reach the little stream. I make hot tea and a salami sandwich. I’ve been packing out a loaf of GF bread, a pound of salami and a bottle of mayo for every section. It’s wonderful.

Today commences the hardcore Colorado ridgewalking that is like Montana but on steroids. High treeless ridges with no tread, going up and down and up and down. Looking at the elevation profile- does the trail really do that? Climbing one thousand feet in one mile, a bit of flat ridge, and then doing it again. All the way up to 12,300 feet. A thunderstorm rolls in and Spark and I hide in a cluster of trees, watch it roll over us and away. Up top you can see the entire surface of the earth, the wind batters us and there’s a shelter, everyone’s names carved into the wood. Hikers ahead of us, hikers behind. People who hiked in 2006, 2010. The way down is a narrow ridge with scree sides so steep I can’t look down. The wind chaps my lips and tries to steal my hat. I feel dehydrated and my knees creak. Going down just to come back up.

For the rest of the afternoon the three of us fantasize anout nachos. What kind of nachos would you make, if you could make any kind of nachos? Camp is in a spongy low forest. Dark comes early and cold does too. I lay in my tarp in all my cozy layers editing photos on my phone. Much happy.

Photos on instagram