This cold weather is killin my spirit.

Just when you think you have things figured out, the trail will throw something else at you. Left Cuba, NM feeling pretty good, only hiked about 5 of the up hill miles and camped. Turns out that was a better plan than doing the whole 12 miles up and over the mountain.

Nice spot before things went south.

The next morning we thought we’d just crank out the next climb. Wrong. As we climbed things just got worse and worse. On the upside I saw my first bear! I saw him first and when I started making noise he ran. Anyway we crossed a stream getting our feet wet but thought they’d soon dry out, wrong again! For the next 5 miles we were in, surprise, snow. Not just snow but also melting ice cold run off. It was SO cold. You don’t know cold til you’ve walked in ice water for an hour. Seriously we were post-holing in icy water up to our knees at times. My feet were numb, so we stopped changed socks and put plastic bags over our feet.

Bags on feet….photo cred Kelsey

Treeman caught up to us soon after. He is a super nice German guy with long legs and pretty fast. He was just plowing through the snow with his neoprene socks. He left a whole day after us, that’s how slow we were.

This was easily our worst section, thus far. The plastic bags added insulation but did nothing to stop them from being wet. It took us most of the day to complete that climb and start down, what with the blow downs on the decent. At one break we just sat and laughed (to keep from crying) at the ridiculousness of it all. There was no out, just through. I have never been so glad to get to camp.

This section weighed heavily on us as we knew it was just a precursor to what awaited us in Colorado. We camped that night with Youngblood who asked what our plan was for Colorado. We have none. Both Yougblood and Treeman are getting off trail for a week to wait for the snow to melt. They also both have ordered snowshoes for Colorado. Neither Kelsey or I have snowshoes. I don’t want them as I don’t have any idea how I’d carry them.

Trail being the trail the next day we descended further to warmer temps and spectacular views. We headed for Ghost Ranch,  where Georgia O’keeffe’s paintings come to life.

Ghost Ranch is beautiful and you can rent cabins there. We hurried to get there for lunch in the cafeteria, it was so good. Of course while hanging at Ghost Ranch the clouds rolled in rain and cold temps followed. Why is it so cold, not good for my morale.  Now that we have received our cold weather gear (re: extra weight) we will pause and try to figure out what to do next. Just plowing through the San Juan mountains might not work, there is still much snow. In the Sierras on the PCT I just plowed through (highly unprepared) I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Ignorance is bliss.

3 thoughts on “This cold weather is killin my spirit.

  1. Hi Chardonnay, what an entry this one is! I’m sorry about the cold and all the things mama nature is throwing at you. You’re a hero in my eyes for just being out there! I hope conditions improve out there. You saw a bear! That’s so awesome that it ran from YOU! Hey at times when your morale is low, think about why. Why are you doing this? Why is it important to you? Why PCT, AT and now CDT? I’m sure it’s hard to think about the happy and fun times when you’re cold and unhappy, but give it a try anyways. Like everything, this too shall pass and few months later you’ll be sitting in a warm place somewhere with your loved ones sharing stories.

  2. As I am reading this, the San Juans (south of me) are getting snowed on for the next three days! Our weather here in Colorado is horrendous right now! Please be careful, it’s not worth the mistakes that come with crossing the mountains in springtime. Please please please be careful! Here is the CO Avalanche Info link ~ very handy to have when traveling in the backcountry of CO.

  3. Thanks, we are trying to make it at least to Chama, NM. Then will have to see what happens after that. Might have to do a alternate route and skip the San Juans.

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