September 5, 2013
Sargents Mesa to Cochetopa Creek
The trail is often a tail of opposites from one day to the next. From cold rain and hail yesterday, to hot sun today. Fortunately the hiking was fairly easy, although water was a little harder to come by.
I ran into a CDT section hiker from Portland mid morning who mentioned there were a couple of SOBO CDT hikers not too far ahead. This was big news to me because I had been hearing there was a couple ahead of me for quite a while, but had not yet caught up to meet them. The information gave me additional incentive to get miles in today in an effort to catch them before Spring Creek Pass.
Getting toward the early evening hours, a couple miles after drinking the last of my water, I finally caught a glimpse of some hikers ahead of me. I was beginning think I wouldn't catch the other SOBOs but perhaps now I would! My first priority though was getting to the next water source as I was getting pretty thirsty. Fortuitously enough, the next water and meeting the other hikers happened simultaneously! They too had been without water for a while and were filling up as I made my way down to a fenced spring area to fill my platypus (water bladder). Bernie and Stacey were their names and they were from Bellingham, WA. We ended up hiking the next 5 miles together as well as camping in the same place for the night. It was great to actually have the company of others for the night and hold a conversation that lasted more than 15 minutes as when passing a hiker going the opposite direction. Bernie has hiked the AT and PCT twice, and the CDT once, so when he finishes at the Mexican border he will be a double-triple-crowner. Stacey has hiked each of the three trails once before and this will be her second time finishing the CDT, which they first hiked together 10 years ago. It sounds like it was a much more challenging experience since the trail was less defined then it is now and it was before the age of GPS. It was also Stacey's first long trail.. What a way to start! They gave me their contact information tonight and after a stop in Creede, CO tomorrow I hope that I will see more of them on the trail again. If not, then perhaps back in the Northwest.
Tomorrow it's another 33-34 miles to Spring Creek Pass and potentially meeting up with Optimist and Stopwatch. Here's hoping!