Day 16: A Dry Marathon

Tuesday July 6, 26.2mi/42.2km

Big Bend Trail Jct (284.7/11178ft) to Archuleta Creek (310.9/9774ft) (CO)

We woke up to blue skies and warm temperatures, and got moving down the trail at 7:15am.

After about an hour of walking, we crossed paths with a familiar looking hiker. He said, “hey you guys were going south yesterday, why are you going north now?”. I told him we were indeed still going south, and double checked my GPS to be sure. He was hiking the wrong direction since leaving camp this morning! Oops. After another hour of hiking, we got to Baldy Lake, where he had camped.

It was nice to hike under blue skies all morning.

Occasionally the forest would open up into a meadow, and I could see pretty far.

Looking southwest into the San Juan mountains:

The green grassy fields were quite a change from the wet, hail-covered hillsides from yesterday.

We hiked all morning, only seeing one water source, Razor Creek. I stopped and filled up 2L of water, and dried my tent. The clouds were starting to build, but not much.

Shortly after noon, we crossed into the Gunnison NF, and followed an old dirt road downhill.

A couple of guys were working at a logging site and chatted with us for a couple of minutes. They had a huge pile of logs.

We had lunch in a shady spot on the dirt road, by Lujan Creek. It was only the second water source in 16 miles. The rest of the dirt roadwalk was nice.

And we came to a paved highway, and followed it for 5 minutes, before heading off into the forest again.

The rest of the afternoon we hiked uphill on an old dirt road, and the right back down again. The water was scarce, but the views were plentiful.

We arrived to a campsite at 6:15pm and sat down and ate right away, my feet were tired and I was so hungry.

Good views from the campsite.

Bluegrasshopper had a pretty good looking dinner too.

I ate more food in my tent, and passed out before sunset.

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