Elevation Gain, Energy Drain, First Rain
- Ghost Ranch Alt: 10.9-25.1 (14.2)
- Total Hiked: 607.7
- Elevation Range: 6,480-9,250
I was up well before my alarm for some reason. The only good thing about that is I caught a glimpse of the moon disappearing. Last night it was too foggy/hazy to see much of the super flower moon, but I thought I saw a bit of the eclipse ending and this morning the moon was all orangish.
I decided to pack all my stuff up, since the campground is a ways from all the Ghost Ranch buildings. On the walk out, I saw some cowboy campers next to me, one peaked his head out from the sleeping bag and waved. I couldn’t really tell, but it looked like the super hikers group I’d hiked with back at the start of the Gila.
Went up to the welcome center and started uploading blogs. A guy I met at dinner the night before, Randy, stopped over to chat. He’s been to Ghost Ranch several times as a getaway. I felt bad since I was on my phone so much, but I got to keep y’all updated!
Randy let me in on the secret that the dining hall doors opens a half hour before breakfast starts, so 7:00am, and there’s coffee! So, I moved locations of course.
Breakfast was fantastic in my opinion. Buffet style, eggs, bacon, french toast, sausage, oatmeal fixings. A few other hikers, Whistler, Finder, and Mud joined me at the table and it was nice chatting with them. Some how the conversation got around to the fact that Whistler has written two books, one about his Appalachian Trail experience and the other about the PCT. I’ll have to look it up some time.
Whistler and Finder were ready to roll at breakfast, so after eating they hit the trail. Me, well I think I was one of the first in there and I know I was the last. Com and Checklist arrived not even to eat, but just to chat and pass on the news of an update about the forest closures. Checklist is amazing and had called repeatedly until finally getting a hold of someone. Turns out, Sante Fe NF and some other stuff closed to the south, but the report is that the Carson NF to the north won’t close until Friday. Why then, I’m not sure, but that leaves me an opening to get through! Com and Crockett (who’d joined by this point) all thought the same. So, I was happy about that. My backup plan was going to be to walk the road up to Chama, so this is much better!
With that news, I set to getting everything in order to get back on trail. First, was seeing if my resupply package had arrived. It had, and actually the staff said it was actually here yesterday, but just hidden I guess. Didn’t matter to me, just happy it was there. Took a while to sort through. Ghost Ranch has some tables that Crockett and I used. He was doing the same thing. I had mucho food and for the first time on this trail (I think) added to the hiker box, rather than take. As I packed up, a new batch of hikers showed up.
At 11:00am, I was pretty much ready to go. I wanted to do,l a quick visit to the paleontology museum though. They had the state fossil located inside and I thought that might be neat. Walking in, I had the anthropology museum staff give me a little tour and then got to see the fossil stuff. Fascinating!
Last step was filling my water up and then I was go for an 11:36am start.
Thanks to Cheer’s guidance, I did not get lost or follow Tinker’s path to the mud pit! Being warned and thus on the lookout, I was able to spot the cairns for the turn off. I was sad to observe it was a scramble up for the first bit. And it was super steep trail after that. I was climbing out of a canyon, I suppose. On top of the first level (that’s what it seemed like today, stair-stepping my way out… steep, then flat, then repeat), I took a picture looking back down where I’d come.
Here’s part of the flat section…
I took another slow-mo bee/flower picture. This one of my first yellow colored cactus flower. I did another, “Whoa” upon seeing it.
This was a tough climb and I was struggling today. I felt it was some of hardest 4 miles I’ve fought for out here. It didn’t help having a full pack of food and going out in the heat of the day, full sunshine. Thankfully, at 1:01pm, cloud cover arrived and it was instantly cooler. Just before lunch though there was yet another hike up. Feeling nauseous almost, I paused and only went a bit more before taking a long break. It was as if the second I started uphill, the energy wood drain out of me. Completely different from a few days as go when I felt I had all the energy to bust up the mountain.
Lunch helped and so did hiking to Kool and the Gang’s, Spirit of the Boogie album.
I’m not sure if I got a bug of sorts, the change up of the food thew me off, I was dehydrated not drinking enough in town, still recovering from big miles coming in, increased pack weight with added items and leaving town, maybe my iron deficiency, or maybe combo off all?
This must just be my complaining post, because my left calf seems to still be a problem too. I thought at breakfast it had healed up, but on the steep stuff especially it tightened up again and felt almost as if bruised when I touched it. Some more flat and gentle stuff later in the day, seemed to help with all these ailments, and I felt as though my leg got loosened up.
Once leaving the road, I climbed up to a steep vista. It was a bit hazy, but I could see the Abiquiu Reservoir down there…
Things started getting clouding around this time. I had my earbuds in, listening to my audiobook, and heard what I believed was thunder. Took em out and sure enough, thunder. Dark clouds were moving my way as well and it sounded to me like a wave of rain was making its way through the forest. Normally, I procrastinate in moments like these and foolishly wait until the rain hits to get my rain gear on. Since it hasn’t been a thing out here though, I wasn’t even sure where in my pack my stuff was. So, I stopped and prepped.
It turned out, the wave of rain was a wave of wind. It did start raining on me, but never a downpour. I did give a shout out to the universe, a nice “woohoo!” for the blessing of rain, even if only a short shower. Here’s some darker pics as the rain moved on by.
I’ve been seeing a lot of these pretty violent flowers. I love the close-up pattern on them too!
My goal for the day was to get to a water source that was right at the junction where the Ghost Ranch alternate meets back with the CDT red line. I made it a little after 6:00pm, filled up about 4 liters, and then walked just up the trail to the actual junction and set up my tent.
I was pretty dang tired the whole day and during dinner made a plan to try and sleep in tomorrow. I figured I’d maybe even take some time before getting going. I’m supposed to be out of the forest with three days left of hiking a section of 80 miles, so an average of around 26 miles a day. But I figure if I can’t make it out in time due to the reason that I wasn’t feeling good, well that’s just going to be how it is. And maybe I’ll regain that energy tomorrow! We’ll see 😎
Album of the Day
“Spirit Of The Boogie” – Kool & The Gang