5/18/15, Day 24
M627.7 to M655.2- 10,209′
TENT – Nights Spent Alone: 6
27.5, 485.3 Trip Miles
Mostly Sunny, some wind, rain in the evening w/ thunder & lightening
Day’s of Snow: 3 – Day’s of Rain: 6
Gila Crossings Final Total: 221
14 Cotton Tail Rabbits
9 Horny Roads
9 Jack Rabbit
1 Rattle Snake
Last’s night Cowboy Camp was great. I’m happy I stayed there.
I had an uneventful 15 miles into Cuba, NM. There was one short steep climb to a mesa then it was mostly downhill and then road walking.
I got all my packages: new shoes, new tent and food all sorted out and hightailed it out of town. (Side note it’s coming down outside right now. I wonder if it will turn to snow as I’m at 10k. There is already snow on the ground now) There’s flashes of lightening once in a while. A nice storm rolled through earlier.
I actually rode in a car today, maybe two blocks in total. First time in a car since April 25th going to the border.
I’m looking forward to a familiar face and someone to share my stories with in person. It will be great to see Jill. Doing the miles to get there may crush me but I’ll get it done. I haven’t had a full zero day yet. Just what we call Neros. A Nero is almost a zero but you still hiked some miles.
9:03, three minutes past hiker midnight. I’m out!
10:03 pm just got back in the tent after it collapse on my. Scared the shit out of me. I answered the question if it would snow. It is and it caused the collapse.
There is always the mother of all thunder and lightening snows going off right above me. It’s like Poltergeist in my tent. I’m counting between the flashing. Scary shit.
11:20 pm snow has stopped but now five minutes later it’s started again. Lightening seems to be gone. Freaky thing is chunks of snow are sliding down the tent and it sounds like someone running their finger down it. It happens in a new place each time. It’s going to be a long night. Lightening back
1:07 am Tent collapse again. This time I finally found a rock to put on the troublesome stake. Everything is wet or damp now. I would guess there’s about 4″ of new snow.
Last night was the most frightening experience of my life. I hope to write a post about the experience in more detail soon. It was the most intense lightening storm I’ve witnessed and it was all around me for hours!
Every time I thought the storm had passed it came back. At one point I could see Saint Elmo’s Fire (electricity in the air). It was like little sparks dancing in front of my eyes. If I had known better I would have been even more scared. At another point the storm just flashed like some was at random turning on and off light bulbs above you. Just little flickers appearing randomly above me with almost no time between them.
When the storm finally passed around 2 am I was too tired to be thankful I was still alive. I passed out curled up in a ball, wet, cold and exhausted. I can’t relay just how terrifying it was. With every flash of lightening came an almost immediate clap of thunder that shook the ground. I was sure I was going to die.