Day 6: Sitting on a Proper Bench – Continental Divide to The Bench 16 miles

Before I talk about the bench I’m sitting on as I write this blog, I must share the Continental Divide. Last night we had to stop short of the Divide as thunderstorms moved in with lots of rain. Triple-Z found us a relatively flat spot to park ourselves for the night. We set up our homes, aka tents and crawled inside for the remainder of the evening. It rained, no, it poured at midnight for another round. Luckily, we both survived and stayed as snug as a bug in a rug! I had my long Johns on with my down pants, down jacket, socks and was cozy inside my 10 degree down quilt. It’s equivalent to a 5 star hotel. Well that might be a stretch but for backpacking standards, it rates 10/10!

Luckily the rain stopped and we were on the trail just after 5am. This morning was exceptional! When I honestly can’t believe it can get any better, God knocks my socks off with His artistry. The Continental Divide is just short of 12000′ and it is the dividing point for headwaters to run east or west. All I can tell you is it is one of the most beautiful places on earth! There are peaks in every direction, some are jagged with snow fields while others are red and green with minerals, rounded at the tops. The trail is clear of debris, beautifully raked and soft duff underfoot. It was my most favorite morning of this journey.

Our gear was pretty wet from the night before so once on the top of the divide, we laid out our tents and sleeping bags. It took only a few minutes to dry our belongings but we stayed for a bit and embraced the beauty of this place.

As we continued over the Divide, we entered a utopia of the healthiest forest I have ever laid eyes on. The trees were evergreen, lush and tall. I typically compare beauty for what I know near my home in Lake Tahoe. We have a few variety of trees but in Colorado, there is every make and model of pines, evergreens, cedars, with some sprinkling in of aspens. It’s overwhelming to the senses. Both Triple-Z and I have been sneezing daily from the new smells and pollens that our noise is just becoming acquainted to. I have no clogged sinuses, that’s for sure.

We headed down hill for 2500′ and started hearing dogs barking excessively. I thought maybe they treed a bear, or there was a huge dog fight. But this was different. It sounded like a pack of dogs! When we rounded the corner, there was a huge enclosure with husky’s, no less than 50 of them, who are dog sled trained. The handler was in the kennels feeding them and they evidentially where quite hungry!

We made it to our lunch spot on the river and guess who decided to soak her feet? Yep, Triple-Z and I are having lunch while sitting, and engulfing in the best pastime of the trail. Let alone our feet are filthy, but this also helps with the swelling as we are walking quite a few miles daily. It is purely exhilarating as this is snow melt and the water temps can’t be much more than 50 degrees! But once you’re in for a minute or two, they are just numb and you don’t feel the pain any longer. Well, at least I don’t. Triple-Z is still out on whether she calls this enjoyment or just painful. I’ll give her some time. By the time we hit Durango, she’ll be converted in more ways than she knows!

We had some pretty remarkable encounters with birds today. I think this is Colorado’s version of a blue jay, maybe a scrub jay. They tend to follow us down the trail, most likely looking for a handout. Triple-Z says that birds are angels sent from heaven to meet us on earth. I like that analogy. We saw tons of Woodpeckers, Jays, Sparrow’s, Finches and even a Hawk.

We made it to our bench, a highly coveted camp spot that overlooks the valley below. As we set up camp, it was obvious that this place can create some blasting winds. Well, it didn’t disappoint because as I’m enjoying the lovely view, a northern wind came blowing through our pristine site and I have an inch of dust, dirt and grime in my tent! No worries, I’m just as filthy as my tent now, but come tomorrow, I’ll be clean. Yep, we are headed to the town of Frisco for showers, proper laundry and good food! Oh the simple pleasures of flush toilets and running water.

But you Lord. Are the shield that protects me, my glory who lifts my head up high, I call out to the Lord and He answers me from His Holy mountain. Psalms 3:3-4

6 thoughts on “Day 6: Sitting on a Proper Bench – Continental Divide to The Bench 16 miles

  1. Frisco is a nice town. Lot’s of good restaurants. I hope you have time to enjoy one. Fremont Pass tomorrow and then maybe Tennessee Pass the following day or two. Don’t forget to check out the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. Five star cuisine prepared in a Yurt.


  2. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Don’t think I could do that long of a hike. But I enjoy hearing about yours. God bless you as you go on your trail.


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