Again, sheesh. It snowed/rained/sleeted/hailed all night, but I stayed snug as a bug in my shelter and sleeping bag. I love snow, but this is getting old, Spring. Lets lighten up on the rain, snow, and lightning for a while, eh?
When I finally emerged from my shelter, I took advantage in a break in the weather. The day was misty as clouds hovered overhead for the first few hours. I slogged through the mud, slipping and sliding all around, before the sun finally came out and I could marvel at the rolling meadows and shiny world around me.
I took lunch and listened to some music on my phone while eating another roast beef and feta cheese bagel…much better than yesterday, probably because I was so hungry!
Right before packing up for the afternoon’s hike my phone slid off my pack and onto the ground. Not thinking much of it, I picked it, selected a podcast for the after-lunch miles, and started hiking again.
I realized a while later I was’t on the trail anymore…or I wasn’t sure for that matter. There had been almost no CDT markers all day. I pulled out my phone to check my position on Guthook’s CDT GPS app, and to my horror realized the screen was shattered.
#*%&#(&! (pardon my French)
I got a panicky fear welling up, but I tamped it down and reassured myself that I was a map and compass guru and didn’t need the App to successfully navigate this section…snow? Follow footprints. Well, I tried to hike back to where I knew i was on the trail last, and pulled out my phone one more time to take a look and realized the top half of the screen was still operational, yes!
I called my folks and asked them to order me a replacement phone and have it shipped to Chama…whew, success! I saw I was about a quarter mile off the CDT before the entire screen went dead…but not before a partial text from Pimp Limp (a day ahead on the trail) came though that said, “Do not cross the river alone!”
What? What river? Where? I couldn’t manage to read the rest of the message before the phone went dead.
This section had a few days of postholing up ahead before I would reach Chama, and apparently a big, dangerous river crossing, and yes, I was alone.
Well, I tried my hardest to find and stay on the CDT, but a few hours later I emerged on what I realized was a Ley alternate, elated that I knew where i was, but defeated that I had missed the trail and wasted some time, I weighed my options…and started walking the road I had stumbled upon out.
I left the mountains. Amid some self-berating about taking the easy way out and not rising to the navigational challenge of the trail ahead, was a deep sense of relief. I would be safe today. And tomorrow. I would get myself out of these mountains safely and not get caught in a potentially dangerous situation of hiking through the terrain ahead alone.
So I left! i knew the road would lead me to another road, and another road, and eventually a highway which I **hoped** would lead to Chama. I would figure it out.
I hiked until about 7pm when a car drove by and I stopped them to ask about the way to Chama, apparently I only had about 6 miles to go until the highway and about 30 road miles to Chama. Yes!!!!!
Elated I decided it was time to camp, and found a spot snug on a short ridge beneath some scrub oak. The day was almost over. I broke my phone/camera/video camera/GPS/ and my Ipod (another instance in the day where I dropped it into a puddle), but I was safe and happy that i made the right decision.