Daily Miles: 24
Total Miles: 1830
The hiking today was largely on a gravel road. It started out nicely with big pine trees on either side. We were in a bit of a valley, so it took awhile for the sun to hit us. It seemed to hit us just as we were coming out of the trees and into a wide open and desolate landscape.
The walking was quick, so we were able to get to our first water source early. It was a spigot a bit off trail behind a corral. As we were getting water, we saw two bike packers ride by on the road. We were bummed that we missed the chance to talk with them, since they just pedaled on.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful as we continued our road walk. Finally we turned off into a two-track which had us back in the desolate walking of this morning. It was so hot today and walking in such an exposed area had us sweating a lot and looking for any way to get protection from the sun.
Our second water source of the day was a nice earthen tank which seemed to be fed by a solar spring. It had a nice outflow where we were able to get some clear water. There was a decaying cow nearby (unfortunately our second of the day), so we just quickly got our water and left the area since the stench was so bad.
After that, the trail followed a narrow valley. The trail was quite faint and easy to lose as we crisscrossed over a tiny stream. This section really reminded both of us of the Grand Enchantment Trail, where you feel like you’re on a scavenger hunt for any sign of the trail. While it was a nice change from the monotony of road walking, we were tired and not necessarily in the mood to be searching for the trail.
As soon as the valley opened up, we found a few trees that would work for hanging. The trees are alive, but have some charring on their bark from a previous fire, which makes our webbing very dirty. There are also several sizable rocks under SweetPea’s hang that we couldn’t move. So, instead, we put both of our backpacks under her hammock to protect her from the rocks if her hammock were to fall. Hopefully they won’t be necessary.
Oh, and today we saw our third tarantula in New Mexico!