Soooo, plans have changed, as they do. Left Chama and was in so much snow. We were moving at a snail’s pace, maybe slower without snowshoes. With all the snow we are consistently wearing crampons and even with neoprene socks my feet get wet and numb. Camping at high elevation (11000 to 12000 feet) is really cold. Only doing about 10 miles a day made the section way longer than expected, so running out of food was a strong possibility.
I knew Colorado would be tough but it kicked my butt. The first day only did 10 miles. Didn’t make it to water source so I had to melt snow. You know how long it takes to melt snow, forever. Being slightly dehydrated I had leg cramps through out the night. Agh.
On the 3rd day out we started out optimistic, but within a mile the post-holing began (taking a step on packed snow, only to hit a soft spot and sink straight down into it). So much so we actually crawled at one point. It takes a lot of energy if you sink in really deep, say up to the hip, just pulling your leg from the hole is a real chore. A group of guys came by moving at a pretty good clip. We thought we could fall in behind them and at least not have to consult our maps every mile. (the trail is under all that snow so you are constantly checking to see if you are even remotely on trail) However that was about when it started hailing, then snowing, sideways!
Long story short that was enough for me. This was not meant to be torture. Nor did I want to die of hypothermia, know when to say when. So we hiked the 22 miles back to Chama, New Mexico. That in itself was an experience also as it stormed on us both days returning. I have never been so wet and cold. Kelsey had to talk me through some high current stream crossings (while snapping photos!) Have you every been on a snow bridge? Scary. Hearing the rushing water underneath your feet, praying your next step won’t send you plunging in the icy water.
Back at the Y Motel Ann and Bud took care of us, again! They used to live in Poway, CA!! Thanks for getting us to Pagosa Springs Bud (see ya in August).
So, yea, current plan is to flip up to Wyoming and head north, then back to end in Colorado. Or something like that, the logistics is, well complicated. Let the hitchhiking, bus riding adventure commence!