5/25/15, Day 31

M777.2 to Cumbres Pass- 10022′

Hotel – Nights Spent Alone: 7

25.6, 603.8 Trip Miles

Snow and Rain showers off and on throughout the day. Wind

7:10 to 3:45

Day’s of Snow: 7 – Day’s of Rain: 11

# of Zero days: 1

Gila Crossings Final Total:  221


Critter Count
7 Chipmunk
2 Squirrels
2 Pronghorn


119 Lizards

48 Elk

30 Chipmunks

22 Cotton Tail Rabbits

20 Squirrels

12 Deer

9 Horny Roads

9 Jack Rabbit

8 Ground Squirrel

5 Snakes

3 Coyotes

2 Pronghorn

2 Toads

1 Mouse

1 Skunk

1 Rattle Snake

It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be with the wind and high elevation. Maybe wearing my rain pants had something to do with it. I slept okay.

We got a latish start and at least twice in the day I steered us wrong and we did more mileage than needed.

Blown Cornice

View from above camp.

The day started with okay dirt roads but soon they were muddy. Then we climbed and hit snow. This is where the shit hit the fan as they say. We followed a set of tracks in front of us of Tom and Wall’s but at one point they veered off to the NE. I knew the trail went NW so I began to break our own trail.

We made it only one mile in an hour. Finally we stopped out of exhaustion and looked at the map. After some debate we saw Tom and Wall had headed for a bail out alternate to lower elevation.

high meadow

Some of the better terrain we hiked today.

We turned around and covered the same ground we already did in 15 minutes. Soon we found dry ground had lunch and rested. After lunch we hit muddy dirt roads again and quickly dropped elevation. We still hit with snow and rain showers but we weren’t in 6 feet of snow at 11k.

Rail view

Rafiki on the line.

We crossed into Colorado at 1:55 pm! I was so excited. More descending lead us to the Chama – Toltec Railroad. I started walking the tracks to the pass where we were supposed to come out and the train came around the corner behind me. Luckily it isn’t a bullet train.

Deep snow forest

The spot where it all went wrong

We walked a mile or two to Cumbres Pass and found Tom and Wall hitching. We called Chester at the Chama Trails Inn and he picked us up. Tom and Wall got a ride just after I made the call.

Colorado State Line

Crossing into Colorado and completing my first state of five

Dinner was with a ton of other thru-hikers at the bar/restaurant called High Country a cross the street. We even had live music too. Food was great, best on the trail so far.

For what was supposed to be an easy 17 miles or so turned out to be a crusher of a day.  I think the fact we were so ready to be in town made it seem longer.  My stubbornness to hike the proper trail proved to be pointless once again.  This lesson stuck because after this I accepted that alternates are not bad and are okay to take.

Back to Day 30, Forward to Day 32


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Get out there!

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