Next, another side hike up the Ghost Ranch Box Canyon. This side hike follows a stream/spring right up the canyon with a great view of an Eagles Nest on the canyon wall. Lots of boulders and even another rope to help you climb over a huge rock slab. Then the trail just ends at a solid rock wall. You can see the water dropping from the wall and starting the headwaters of the stream. Very pretty spot.
Heading back to the beginning of the box canyon I got back to work hiking the CDT. This section, called the Badlands, included a steep climb up the rim of the canyons with many excellent views of the sandstone walls. Somewhere along the way I put my poles down near a cactus. For the next few hours I kept getting little thorns from the cactus on my hands until I realized they where imbedded in my pole handles.
At the top of the canyon there were some confusing directions that required some bush whacking and serious route finding but it was kind of fun. Made a couple rock cairns at a spot where I missed a turn and had to backtrack.
The sky turned dark and it looked like a thunder storm was coming so i put my camera away in a zip lock bag. Of course right around the bend i came across a meadow with dozens of elk. Watched for a while but as soon as i tried to get my camera they scattered to the wind. Only 14 miles forward progress but some great side hikes today.