5/9/15, Day 15, Tarp, Day 3 Alone

A mile shy of Rt. 12 to Road Side Camp M30.5 of PT Alt. 

30.5, 307.8 Trip Miles

Partly Sunny, 30-50’s Windy at times with Snow!

6:52 to 7:19

54 Gila Crossings, 221 Final Total

Critter Count

1 Chipmunks
1 Coyote


102 Lizards

20 Elk

10 Deer

9 Horny Roads

5 Jack Rabbit

7 Squirrels

7 Chipmunks

4 Snakes

4 Cotton Tail Rabbits

3 Coyotes

2 Toads

1 Mouse

1 Skunk

Last night was warmer but I still felt cold at around 5 am. Like they say it’s coldest right before sun rise.
When I woke up I thought the clouds in the sky looked dark and forbidding. I was worried we’d get rained on again. Little did I know I was half right. I got snowed on about four different times today. It was sunny but cold and windy for most of the day then around 1 pm to about 4 it was just hot and sunny. After 4 the wind picked up and the cold and snow returned. It was that snow that looked like round white balls. It never amounted to anything.
Mangas Mountain

Mangas Mountain Fire Lookout

Today was probably 98% dirt road walking. My left shin is sore as a result. I popped three Vitamin I’s and hope it’s okay in the am.
Today I hit the highest point of the trip, 9691′ on Mangas Mountain. There was a look out tower but it was locked.
Let me share some hiking truths with you. If you kick a rock with you left foot you will 90% of the time kick it under your right foot hence tripping on it not once but twice.
If you take your phone out to check your position and don’t stop walking you will experience what I just said above.
If you see a peak or climb and think “I wouldn’t want to climb that!” You’ll end up climbing it.
When you’re looking for a flat spot to camp you won’t find one. When you’re not ready to camp their everywhere.
The wind is always strongest where the best break or camp spots are.
view point

View on the descent off Mangas Mountain

You might have noticed I haven’t mentioned either the push ups or planks since before I started. All I can say is when you walk 20+ miles you don’t need to do either. I work hard enough out here, I don’t need to make it harder.
You might have also noticed I’m using my tarp a lot instead of Cowboy Camping. I mentioned the cold and wind. Well the wind  doesn’t always stop when the sun goes down, so I have been putting up my tarp to help protect me from the cold and wind.
CDT Sign

Custom CTD Sign

I can’t wait to get my new tent. Even though it’s just a thin piece of nylon you easily imagine it  protects you from everything from ants to bears. Physiologically it’s like you’re invincible in a tent compared to being just on the ground. I also like having a place out of the elements to pack up. I usually have almost all my gear but the tent packed by the time I get out of it.
Today I started with 2w but shortly into the day I got ahead of him.  Little did I know he took an alternate route around Mangas Mountain.  I would find this out in Pie Town.  I did worry some when I never saw him that evening.  I even left him a note on the road.
This day was tough.  The road walking took it’s toll on my shins, especially the downhills.  I can’t tell you how bad it became.  Every step was like someone was putting a knife in my shin.  It worried me greatly that it wouldn’t be temporary.
Besides the lookout tower and a few views today wasn’t much to write home about.  Just a day to put in big miles.
Back to Day 14, Forward to Day 16


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Get out there!

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