Got out early and did 22 by 2. Way over achieved. I laid around bored for 4 hours waiting for my friends. Oh well, good day of road walking given I was expecting asphalt and got gravel. Full lunar eclipse tonight. Sunset was beautiful and the eclipse is looking good so far!!
Camp @ 439.2 = 24.2 TM (355.6 TTM)
Rough day. Back on the road, cause so much road walking. Road/trail did a big double back, and looking at a map it looked like there were roads to get the corner, we may have had to cross private land. Not really sure, but the rancher was chill about it. First water required me to climb a fiberglass water tank and scoop out water with a pot tied to the end of a trekking pole. Turns out my shorts got filled with glass fibers and a I spent the day in a dress made of Arrow’s sarong….that’s a good friend. Shade was limited and we tried to make some by tying up a tent. But the wind came up and threatened to shred Arrow’s tent so it came back down. After huddling in the bit of shade we decided to head back into the heat in search of better shade. Good news, we were rewarded. Even after another long break though me were short on miles and had a ways to water. It was a long slog and after a nose bleed I made it to water and camp. Long hard day. Especially the afternoon.
Camp @ 462.1 (6.2 miles skipped + 3.8 mile shortcut ) = 20.5 TM (376.1 TTM)
Out and filled all water receptacles for the 21+ mile carry. We wanted to make the ice caves and the ice cream they sold before closing so it was a day with less breaks. I had one for quick second breakfast and water filter than a longer lunch/stretch before pushing the last 7 miles at 2. We took a detour across the lava fields to cut off some road walking and were well rewarded despite the rugged terrain. We made the cool depths of the ice cave before sipping cold soda and devouring ice cream. I was a little short ‘n water but found a cache with a couple gallons late in the day that stayed me over.
Camp @ 488.5 – 2.2 cut off + 1.5 on alt = 25.7 TM ( 401.8 TTM)
Started the day with clean water from a faucet on the back of the park service building and headed out for an adventurous 3 miles to the caves. We dropped our packs and donned headlamps to explore Xenith lava tube. It ended with a 20+ foot belly crawl though narrow tunnels into a small cavern where we turned off lamps and basked in the deep darkness. We had fun and as we (Arrow, Tiptoe, and I) lie here chatting all agreed it was the highlight of the section, if not NM. We’re all looking forward to town and making food and getting rest. Though it’s going to bring final news on fire closures. It doesn’t sound good but we’re holding out hope.
Camp @ 16.7 Zuni alt – 4.9 skipped by custom alt + 2.5 on custom alt = 22.5 TM (424.3 TTM)
Made it to town early and sounds like forests are indeed closed. Now we figure out what to do next.
Town @ 524.7 = 8.6 TM (432.9 TTM)
Zero day in Grants planning and figuring out how to get around. all National Forests between us and Colorado are closed due to forest fire risk. Met a nice lady in town while walking to the Uranium Mining Museum in town who offered to take us to Albuquerque the next morning. Score! After learning all about the local mining we headed back to the hostel for a movie and popcorn before bed.
Into ABQ in the morning and to our Airbnb. After a group shopping trip we watched Breaking Bad into the evening and ate heartily.
We woke to a splendid breakfast then all set out to do our various things. Several folks were doing chores but Arrow and I opted for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. We spent 4+ hours wandering the exhibits, watching videos, and learning much.
Afterwards we took the long way home along the river for a little exercise to the legs wouldn’t forget how to walk.
Once again we all made dinner, and watched Breaking Bad into the evening.
Time to leave ABQ and head to Santa Fe, we got on the train early after another tasty town breakfast of pancakes and sautéed apples, smoothies, etc. We arrived in Santa Fe and headed to the REI which was conveniently across the street from the train station. After lunch we headed to Meow Wolf, an interactive art exhibit I’ve heard a lot about. We spent over 4 hours exploring beautiful, extravagant, and colorful rooms. It’s hard to put into words.
5 days of zeros is a lot after only 3+ weeks on trail. We’re headed to Chama finally and expect to head out of town tomorrow. The packs will be heavy with extra food and snow gear. Safety first. We’ll see how the Sandler’s do in snow with micro spikes. While we leave from Chama, NM we will be getting back on trail just North of the Colorado/New Mexico border. NM has been, fun, hard, gruelling, and we’re having to skip the best parts….which is a let down, but we may just be back after tagging Canada.