Day 28: Blood, Sweat and Tears – Cuba Gulch to Elk Creek 16 miles

Yes, I had all emotions today! We hit the trail running. Even though the miles are reasonable, we are in the San Juan’s now. If you’re not familiar with them, think of the most rugged mountains you’ve ever laid eyes on. Then know that you will climb up and over every pass! The most unique part of hiking here is the fact you are constantly above tree line. Fortunately the weather looks ominous from the clouds but the only true factor we have dealt with is wind. At times it feels like the jet stream has dropped down to 12,000′. The rock cairns are getting more and more elaborate. Honestly they are nice to see as you are approaching a summit, but rarely to the designate the top. In fact I think they are intended for winter travel when the trail is covered in snow. That to me sounds like way too much work! After lunch we came over another rise and all I could think was Patagonia! These twin peaks dominated the landscape. The only thing that was missing is the glacier below them. As we descended the mountain in the afternoon, we had already seen two huge flocks of sheep, a random saddled horse tied to a lead without a cowboy anywhere, and motorized vehicles over Stoney Pass. The climb down was much like Mt Whitney where there are countless switchbacks. I was truly grateful that I wasn’t climbing up! The trail was narrow and went through some old mining areas with rock quarry’s. Just for some added fun after hiking 15 miles, we had to negotiate a blow down of spruce trees that extended 100 meters, about the size of a football field. That’s where the blood came in. There’s no way to climb over fallen trees wearing a skirt, without getting gouged. The sweat was earned from all the climbs we had today while the tears were “tears of joy”. 400 miles hiked to this point! We did one extra mile to camp being the original site we intended using is home of a very aggressive porcupine! He’s been known to eat random gear and steal stuff. For over three years, he’s been menacing hikers and campers alike. Who would’ve thought you’d be run out by a porky critter. Only 84 to go and we will be in Durango!

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.

Psalm 3:3

2 thoughts on “Day 28: Blood, Sweat and Tears – Cuba Gulch to Elk Creek 16 miles

  1. I feel like i am right with, which is awesome since I just had left rotator cuff surgery and can’t go anywhere. Im as excited for you to make it to Durango but will be so bummed not having your posts to keep me entertained and engaged and see how God continues to provide for you both and reveals His majesty!
    God bless and stay safe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s