Day 125 – 29 Miles (2068 miles from Mexico)

I woke up about 4am, and seeing ash in the beam of my headlamp made me freak out. I started trembling and couldn’t stop, so I decided to pack up and move up to the top of the saddle where I had gotten a tad of reception…I had to do what I could to figure out if this was a fire I needed to worry about or not.

I was slowly able to bring up a fire incident map and was 90% sure the smoke was coming from a fire between Lima and Dillion, on the other side of the highway I crossed a few days ago. That put me at enough ease to where I was able to lay down and get a little bit of more sleep.

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Smoky sunrise

When I woke at 6:30 I tried to check the sites again, but just couldn’t connect to the internet. I spent the morning playing the game: Where will you run if the fire comes? Not one of the more fun games on the trail. I spied rocky outcroppings that would work well, and also thought I could wade a lake.

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I could stand in the middle of that if I had to

I finally stopped obsessing over the fire, that takes a lot of energy! I kept trying my phone for reception all day, but didn’t get anything until the evening. I learned we were in the clear for this section, but there are a few closures up ahead. Phew, I just wanted to know that I would be ok for this section, and relief felt amazing.

The hiking today was wonderful, although full of smoke. When I reached the divide again this evening, the mountains and cliffs towered over the grassy ridges, just awesome, awesome hiking.

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I made camp above Tex Creek and just have 30 miles left to the pass where I’ll go into Leadore. I will wait and spend one more night on the trail to have as close to a full day off as possible.

What a week!

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