Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ghost Ranch, NEW MEXICO!

I ended up staying a night in Pagosa Springs, because it started dumping when Namie was driving me around to do my errands, so it made more sense to stay in a warm dry house than to hike for half an hour before dark and get soaked. Unfortunately, it was still raining (hard!) the next morning, so I ditched into a ski-area tool shed on the Divide and hid there from the lightning for a few hours. I only made 16 that day, and 22-25 the next two days, but on the 7th, I went over 12,000 feet for the last time, left the South San Juan Wilderness, and camped on the state line. On the 8th, I woke up, told CO to kiss my ass (I've got pictures,) and hiked on, and it's been glorious New Mexico jeep roads 'n bushwackin' ever since, with 32+ miles each of the last two days. Right now, I'm in the computer lab at Ghost Ranch--I hiked 18 already before noon to make it before lunch, and it's 74 degrees outside! 74 degrees! The last day I spent in CO it was 18 when I woke up, my shoes were frozen despite having spent the night inside my tent, and I spent the first two hours of the day walking along basically screaming and cussing like a madman until my shoes finally warmed up, and it didn't get much above 40 all day.

I caught up to Nitro and Jug, so hopefully I'll camp with them tonight (the 6th and 7th SOBO hikers I've passed on trail, also having passed Wildcat, Scarlet, Wildflower, Donna, and Gruevy, plus a bunch that I'm sure I missed in towns or whatnot.) The forests are crawling with hunters and the roads are littered with Bud Light cans, but I've got lots of blaze on, and did I mention that it's 74 degrees? One hunter was lost, so the first day in NM everyone was asking me "Are you Dave? Have you seen a guy named Dave?" Also saw two more bears my last day in CO, odlly probably my first black bears of the entire trail.

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