7/10/15 Day 77, Yurt M2056.2 to Saddle M2083.5 11,871′
Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 10
27.3, 1426 Trip Miles
Partly Sunny, Rain, sleet and Snow
Day’s of Snow: 8 – Day’s of Rain: 29 – Days of Hail: 13
# of Zero days: 7
6 am – 6 pm
Gila Crossings Final Total: 221
Tick Count: 4 (4 more crawling on me)
1) 530 Pronghorn*
2) 247 Elk
3) 152 Chipmunks
4) 119 Lizards
5) 116 Wild Horses
6) 87 Marmot****
7) 84 Deer**
8) 50 Squirrels
9) 46 Ground Squirrels
10) 41 Cotton Tail Rabbits
11) 37 Pika
12) 30 Prairie Dogs
13) 22 Horny Toads
14) 17 Jack Rabbit***
15) 11 Moose
16) 8 Snakes
17) 4 Coyotes
18) 5 Moles
19) 2 Fox
20) 2 Porcupine
21) 2 Rattle Snakes
22) 2 Toads
23) 1 Mouse
24) 1 Skunk
25) 1 Weasel
*181 from car, **3 from car, ***1 from car, ****2 from car
The fire went out early in the wood stove. This meant it got cold fast. No matter as we were inside out of the weather. It was my first yurt experience.
We were up at 5:30 and hiking by 6. The morning was cold, cold enough that there was frost, the ground was frozen and there was ice on the puddles. This did not stop our shoes from getting wet.
We went over many high points today. We did a 13,273′, 12,924′, 12,722′, 12,988′, 12,696′, 12,795′ and 12,617′. On two of them we got SNOWED on! It’s July 10th. We also got rained on multiple times and some sleet. Luckily each time we were able to dry off in the sun.
At Cataract Lake we stopped to put on rain gear. As we did this dude in running shoes, shorts, shirt and a super light rain jacket with ultra light poles came over a small rise and just ran by. He barely said a word. We thought it rude and wondered what the hell he was doing out here so lightly prepared. Just then another younger kid came by. I asked how far he had to go to get out of the rain. He responded with “80 miles!”
Something wasn’t adding up. These guys weren’t peak bagging. Soon another runner came down the trail. So this time I asked what race this was. He said the Hardrock 100! It’s arguably one of the toughest 100 milers there is. We saw about the first 15 or so runners.
I know everyone at home thinks I’m some crazy bad ass for hiking from Mexico to Canada. Well, I think these runners are bad ass! I envy them and wish I could run a 100 miler some day. It moved me to see them. Maybe I’ll have to start running when I get home.
The other highlight was the San Juan’s themselves. They are AMAZING! Jill told me they were but you must see them with your own two “feet” to understand. They reminded me of Goat Rocks just south of Mt. Rainier. One side of our camp looks like this and the other looks all rocky like the Sierra Mountains. Everywhere you look there’s breath taking mountains. I took a ton of pictures.
The other thing that is eye popping is the wild flowers. They are off the hook right now. My decision to flip up to WY has been completely justified today.
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Get out there!