5/15/15, Day 21

M549.1 to M575.8 – 8391′ 

Tarp – Night #4 Alone

27.9, 405.9 Trip Miles

Cloudy, 30-40’s Windy, Snow and Rain

Day 2 of Snow – Day 4 of Rain

5:58 am to 7:00 pm

Gila Crossings Final Total:  221

Critter Count
3 Squirrel
1 Chipmunk
1 Jack Rabbit


107 Lizards

43 Elk

10 Deer

10 Squirrels

9 Horny Roads

8 Chipmunks

8 Jack Rabbit

7 Cotton Tail Rabbits

5 Snakes

3 Coyotes

2 Toads

1 Mouse

1 Skunk

1 Rattle Snake

I lost count fairly early in the day at the number of times I got snowed or rained on. Today was a tough day.

It started with a 3000′ climb up 11,301′ Mt. Taylor with a very heavy pack. The wind was strong and cold. Everything had rime ice on it.  I didn’t get many views from the top.  I actually hiked on snow coming down the north face of Mt. Taylor. 

After Mt. Taylor I had one more climb and then it was dirt roads and down for a long time. I got hit with snow shower after snow shower. I dealt with sticky mud that clung to my shoes and even hiking pole tips.

My water resupply was a icky cow tank. It taste pretty bad by itself.

At lunch I had to cut it early as another snow shower descended on me. I might have stopped for 30 minutes. Today I was on the move 95% of the time. Too cold to shit around.

Snow hiking

Snow on the north slope of Mt. Taylor

The afternoon was more dirt roads and snow/rain. I told myself I was only doing 23 miles. Of course that put me in a open area with lots of wind, it was snowing and the ground was covered with lava rock.

I pushed on 3 miles to an area on the map with green, indicating trees. I got there but nothing was “good enough” in my mind. I finally had to force myself to just make camp. Because of my stubbornness and desire for a perfect camp spot I made a hard day even harder.

I also cooked in yet another snow shower.

Snow, mud, fog

What most of my day looked like.

At this moment everything I own appears to be wet or at least damp. Break down in the am is going to suck. So is putting on wet socks and shirt. I can’t wait!

After not drinking as much as I should due to piss poor planning on my part I found a water trough that wasn’t marked on my maps or app.  That was the positive for the day.  Overall the day was brutal.  It was one of those ones that keeps you hoping every sucker hole (blue patch in the clouds) is going to be the one that breaks out and gives you sunny weather.

I was cold and wet for most of the day.  It was all about mental toughness today.  I kept reminding myself it couldn’t last forever.  I would say “It’s only temporary!” which during the tough times on this hike was my mantra. 

Back to Day 20, Forward to Day 22


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Get out there!

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