This morning we were once again surprised to wake up to tents covered in snow! This New Mexico weather is insane!
We slept in a bit longer today hoping the storm would pass but knowing the summit would be a snowy walk. It was a great start, walking on freshly fallen snow through the forest.
The trail was a bit tough to find at some points and I had a great time navigating through the snow. Made me feel like I can actually read a map! Burning calves was not feeling so good, she woke up with a migraine and was a real trooper hiking up Mt Taylor. We were super slow hiking up, kinda like a 4×4 going into low range to get up a steep hill. We all felt the attitude a bit but it was fun submitting a mountain and seeing in incredible view from the top. We were hoping to make 20 miles that day but hiking up Mt Taylor in the snow was much slower than we thought and by lunch time we’d only made 5 miles!
My leg is feeling a lot better now. The descent had some tough moments at first with us randomly picking a route down through the trees as we couldn’t see a trail under the snow but then we reached a dirt road and things became a lot easier and we were able to pick up the pace a bit.
The guys (party saver and aj) were always up ahead of us and left us little messages of hello along the way, like Ted the Head above. (Once a head, stay ahead – that’s for you dad! Surprisingly everyone liked that joke).
Because of the snow, we were able to follow the guys footprints and came to realise that neither of them are very good at navigating! Their prints would be on trail one moment and then suddenly disappeared down the wrong trail, us girls were far more aware of what we were doing. In most cases the prints would reappear in a mile or so but in one case they took a path that went down the wrong side of a valley! We continued on the correct path with a good view of the lower path that the guys took. The higher we got the more pity we felt for them! Eventually we saw their prints again, they’d had to climb all the way back up in a gully!
We’d agreed to meet at a pond and we girls decided to tell the guys that we’d followed their footprints all the way down. We thought we’d elaborate and say our phones and GPS had died too so we only had paper maps and had had to follow the trail for hours. Haha! Needless to say we had a bit of an easier time descending then they did!
We made 5 more miles so at the end of the day we managed 18 miles but we all found it tough. Burning calves did an amazing job pushing through with the migraine. That night we camped under some trees near a cow pond and had a lovely evening celebrating the success of our day.