Monday, July 9, 2007
Headwaters of the San Juan River
ONE MILE EAST OF PIEDRA PASS, HEADWATERS W FORK SAN JUAN RIVER, WEMINUCHE WILDERNESS. July 9, 2007. Erin travelled 28 miles today with the CDT closely approximating the continental divide. "It is so beautiful it hurts". No matter which way she looks the Rockies are in full splender - snow capped peaks, green flowered meadows, and the beginnings of clear flowing springs. The trail is generally clear of snow, although it did snow/sleet briefly early in the day. She passed the beginnings of dozens of streams; those on the right or north side of the trail flow to the Rio Grande and those on the left or south side flow to the San Juan. That night she camped in close proximity to what is designated as the headwaters of the West Fork of the San Juan River - just a stream formed by snow melt. Her camp elevation was 12,300 feet. There are Colorado Columbines in abundance. She saw a Ptarmigan today as well as several herds of Elk grazing the high pastures. Given the popularity of this segment she actually saw 16 other humans/backpackers (like the mall on Saturday) including one couple (Carol and ?) who are through-hikers having started at the same place Erin did (Columbus, New Mexico).