Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thursday June 3, 2010
Camp 34: Lost again, where is Harris Bear Spring?

We had a pleasant day of walking once we finally figured out how to get away from Ghost Ranch.  We hiked in the canyon for a bit which was nice and toasty but finally got to the top of the mesa and caught a breeze.  Trail finding was brutal today, once we find it we can’t seem to keep it which can be frustrating.  We were walking down a forest service road and saw a black bear so we stopped and watched for a while.  We were down wind so she couldn’t smell us as she slowly made her way down the road.  Eventually she heard us and darted into the woods while a second bear, brown in color, bounded across the road in the other direction.  Great! We split them up!  We didn’t even know the second one was there and weren’t quite sure if it was a mom and cub or mating season.  They both looked fairly big.  We stood and watched and eventually the brown bear crossed to the other side of the road.  She kept an eye on us but didn’t seem too concerned.  It was really cool!  We saw the Rockies in the distance…awesome!  For now, we are off trail and hungry, once again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday June 1, 2010
Camp 32 and 33: Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
Our day began with not being able to find the trail, although we swear we were on it when we went to sleep! We followed the GPS to the supposed intersection but again, not happening.  We followed a drainage until it got so steep that if we fell it would have been a tumble straight to the bottom.  We changed the plan and decided to contour the mountainside and guess what...we found the trail!  It was a beautiful walk along the river through towering pines and hemlock.  A gorgeous blue sky, a big black bear and a couple of elk rounded out the day.  We got a hitch to Ghost Ranch with a former congressman who was moving and passing through the area.  He was super friendly and seemed very knowledgeable of the area.  We are staying at G.R. For a day or two in hopes that Eric's knee will return to a somewhat normal state.  It is a really bizarre place. We have been here for awhile and still haven't seen anyone that works here.  It is some sort of Presbyterian Retreat Camp with food that highly resembles staff cafe at the Evergreen Lodge...yum (enter sarcasm here)!  We did run into Pete again, a hiker that we met in Grants and haven't seen since.  Eric is making dinner and I'm writing under the star filled night.

first "cup" of coffee in awhile 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Monday May 31, 2010
Camp 30: Gallina River Trail beneath the Aspen

We both slept horribly last night, tossing and turning until the sun appeared.  We shared our crazy dreams and I am now a true believer that there are spirits in that canyon.  I can't explain it as I've never experienced it before but we were both glad to pack up and hike.  We started out slow as Eric's knee is badly swollen and he is unable to bend his leg.  We continued up the unmaintained river trail trying to follow the markings and cut logs.  It crossed the river several times, overgrown and impossible to keep track of.  The canyon became very narrow and both sides were extremely steep.  The trail, of course, was nowhere to be found.  I stumbled upon something that resembled a trail and we followed it for awhile before it disappeared.  We decided we had to get on top and out of the canyon so we hiked among the Aspens, straight up the mountain for about 2,000 vertical feet.  It was insane.  A few rocks slid, thundering down the mountainside and my heart nearly stopped.  I looked back, sure Eric had fallen, but instead there he was hobbling up the side of this mountain, dragging his leg along.  I had to smile as the whole scene was a bit unbelievable and at this point there was nothing left to do but laugh.  We finally reached the top and sat silently on a log.  I reached for the whiskey and we shared a shot with the mountain.  Cheers to respecting Mother Nature and the mountain.  We proceeded on our adventure staying on top of the ridge and quickly realized a massive storm had blown down thousands of trees.  We stared in disbelief at the uninviting maze before us.  We crept through the woods, climbing, or in Eric's case, dragging ourselves over the trees.  This goes on for miles.  The GPS reports that we are 1.8 miles from the San Jose Trail.  After all that we had only traveled about 1.3 miles as the crow flies, from our camp this morning.  Unreal.  5 hours and 2,000 feet later and we aren't any closer to getting out of this mess.  We continued on, exhausted and finally found our trail within the hour.  The San Jose Trail was like a superhighway compared to the path we had been on.  We hiked at 9,000 feet so there were still snow fields and the trail is really muddy and wet, but hey, no complaints here. 

We stopped a bit early tonight at a great camping spot beneath the beautiful Aspens.  We built a fire and had some warm food.  Great for the body and soul after the past few days.  So our adventure continues in the morning, hopefully after a good nights rest.