Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sunday May 30, 2010
Camp 29: old trail along the river (not the CDT)

I'm laying here a little shaken up as Eric just fell in the river as he tried to cross on a slippery rock.  He banged his kneecap directly on a rock as his entire body plunged into the cold, swift stream.  I watched as it took his breath away and he fumbled to get out.  It happened so fast, I stood, watching helplessly unable to get to him.  He crawled to the bank and I met him with a million questions as I did a full body scan looking for gashes, cuts, blood and bones sticking out.  He simply held up a hand to silence me for a minute to gather himself.  Luckily he didn't hit his head and there were no broken bones but he hit his kneecap and shoulder hard during the fall.  It was already 7pm and he was cold and shivering.  We found a makeshift camping spot to set up and Eric changed into dry clothes.  We aren't even on the CDT, there is nobody for miles that we know of, the trail we are on is pretty much nonexistent.  How did we stumble upon it you ask?  We were trying to take a CDT alternate route that didn't go as planned and we ended up on a road heading North. As we all know, Canada is North so why not go with it?  The road eventually ended and we found this old trail along the river.  Once upon a time it had been maintained as we saw chainsaw work, markings and names carved in the trees.  We had to cross the river several times and our feet were pretty much numb.  On the last crossing we were trying to let our feet dry out a bit and that's when Eric took the bath.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saturday May 29, 2010
Camp 27: knee high cow poop camp
Camp 28: Cuba, New Mexico

The thunderstorms stuck around yesterday as we were surrounded by a brilliant lightning show.  Luckily we only had a few raindrops but were able to watch the storm spread before us, miles away.  We hiked atop the mesa as the sun went down.  The rays filtered through the clouds and the sky turned bright pink as the lightning danced.  Stunning.  As we neared the end of the day we were in desperate need of water.  We happened upon a windmill that was turning full force and beautiful crystal clear water was streaming directly from a pipe.  As we got closer we realized the trough was surrounded by mud and cow manure on all sides.  Seeing no other way, I put on my flip flops and made my way toward the water. Two steps in I began to sink and realized my flops were going to break so I threw them back to Eric.  I was already vested so I mushed on towards the pipe and filled our water bottles.  The manure invaded my nostrils and I was covered to my shins but I had cold, clear water in hand! I took a big gulp and wanted to vomit.  Turns out, Mr. Rancher man doesn't take great care of the windmill and there was a slight seepage problem.  The water tasted like, well, you know what the water tasted like.  What a let-down!  Anyways, we are now in Cuba, smelling of soap and full of Mexican food.  The locals have been great.  We met an interesting family (yes, an entire family) in the Laundromat.  They were Navajo and lived on a reservation nearby.  The man played country/western songs and had a CD, they told us their story and issues that their tribe faced.  The owner of the motel was awesome.  She let us use her laptop to email our family, she also had a hiker box and took our picture standing beside her son.  Later, we heard a knock on the door and opened it to find the boy with a plate of Korean Beef.  Amazing!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cabazon Peak

Thursday May 27, 2010
Camp 25: full moon at Ojo Spring
Camp 26: very windy camp on mesa

Exhausted.  We began our day with an off trail adventure as we missed the CDT cairns (or lack of) somewhere along the way.  We headed East/NE and found the trail within an hour. All morning we hiked on top of a mesa with sweeping views of the arroyo before us.  The clouds rolled in furiously around noon as the trail dropped steeply into the canyon.  By the time we got down the sky was dark and ominous, thunder growled from the clouds and lightning flickered around us.  The adrenaline helped us pick up the pace and the huge rain drops pelted us as we stopped to filter from a spring.  We could see for miles watching the sheets of rain fall in the distance.  Our shoes collected massive amounts of mud and it felt like cement blocks were strapped to my feet.  As we dropped down and crossed the arroyo the views were stunning.  The clouds cast shadows, illuminating various features around us and the sun filtered through creating brilliant contrasts in the landscape.  A rainbow appeared and lingered above Cabazon Peak and the scene became increasingly dramatic as we skirted the canyon edge.  A brilliant sunset topped off the evening as we searched for a place to camp around 8:30pm.  Unfortunately the winds picked up making the task of setting up our tent was much more difficult than we had hoped.  We settled for a cold dinner of Nutella and bagels and my feet ache from 12 hours of intense hiking.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mt. Taylor Summit

Monday May 24, 2010
Camp 23:  near Mt. Taylor

We are sleeping at 9,000 feet tonight and it's supposed to be record lows!  We're actually on a real trail and not a road...exciting!  The trail is funny and frustrating; it comes and goes so we have to search often for cairns or CDT markers in the trees.  We had a good day, went to the Post Office this morning and got back on the trail at 12:30pm.  Eric found another arrowhead today that was made from obsidian and I found a piece of one!

Tuesday May 25, 2010
Camp 24: near Willow Spring (off trail)

We reached the summit of Mt. Taylor today and it was amazing!  There was a beautiful deep blue sky and a heck of a climb which was great training for the lungs and legs.  The trail seems to be all over the place.  We took a wrong turn and the dirt road we were on ended abruptly so we set up camp and decided to figure it out tomorrow morning.  We are camped by an old oil hole that is about 500 feet deep.  What a day.