Daily Miles: 24
Total Miles: 1494
Last night turned out to be quite cold. We were camped in a slight valley and that made a big difference. It was just a cold morning in general, though. We had all of our layers on for over an hour before we started to warm up.
Within a mile and a half of starting our day, we came to our first water source. We were hoping that a faucet in a campground was turned on, but sadly it wasn’t, so we had to take water from a lake. After we filtered out the green floaty bits with our bandana it wasn’t too bad.
Several hours into our day, we came across a guy who was parked off a forest road, just waiting for his dad, Tarten, who is section hiking the CDT. This guy, Justin, has been supporting his dad in a Jeep over the past two months as Tarten hiked 1,000 miles of the CDT. Tarten is pretty impressive, getting into long distance backpacking at age 64. Since then he has thru-hiked the PCT and the AT, and is now section hiking the CDT at the age of 71. We can only hope to still be hiking 1,000 miles when we are his age.
Justin gave us sodas and we chatted with him for about an hour. He had outfitted his Jeep really well for his summer of supporting his dad. He gave us a tour of his setup, including the solar power which he uses to power a small refrigerator as well as being able to charge their electronic devices. It was all really interesting.
As we were talking, two hunters and their guide came by and we chatted with them as well. They were coming from Miami, FL which we thought was really cool for them to make such a big trip out to NM. We haven’t met any hunters from Miami before. They were pretty interested in our CDT hike as well.
After a very enjoyable break, we decided we better keep moving down the trail. The day had turned into perfect temperatures and we had blue skies again. So far, hiking in NM has been really enjoyable.
Beardoh was feeling pretty hungry today so we stopped for lunch at 11:30am. As we were packing up to keep walking after lunch, we saw Tarten coming down the trail towards us. We ended up talking with him for awhile as well. He had such a positive attitude and zest for life, it was really fun to talk with him.
The rest of the day felt like a gradual climb. We were back over 10,000 feet by the end of the day. The forests seem to be a mixture of aspen and pine trees. Some of the aspen are starting to turn yellow, so there is a nice pop of color.
After dinner, we were walking mostly along a wide shallow valley that is lined with trees on both sides. We really enjoy that landscape to walk through.
We are camped in the valley tonight. The way our miles worked out, there wasn’t really a way to avoid it. We are expecting it to be cool, so we have prepared ourselves by having extra layers handy to put on during the night if we get too cold.