On the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail from Cumbres Pass, we take in grand views of the magnificent Wolf Creek valley. All along our watchtower at 10400 feet we scan for aspens in the foothills, cattle in upland meadows, raptors rising on thermals, abandoned mine tailings of uncertain age, semis creeping toward the pass, and the narrow-gauge steam train chuffing toward Chama, packed with old train buffs, its steam whistle shrieking like a 100-year-old schoolboy in corduroy plus-fours. Sun and shadows slo-mo across the viewscape. On our way south along the trail, we stop at 37 degrees and enjoy the view west at the spot where the border should have crossed, if Ehud Darling had been a more careful astronomer back in 1868.
Looking west at N 370 0.0023′ W 1060 27.2601′, elev 10343 ft
We then continue to the official border; Mile 189 + 4 chains, packed in a closet crowded with aspens, barbed wire, and a vandalized sign warning against vandalism. On the way out we passed four bow hunters in camouflage from Oklahoma. They were disappointed we’d seen no deer.
Looking west at N 360 59.6349′ W 1060 27.4314′, elev 10388 ft