After the road walk out of Cuba, NM we found ourselves not in a desert with towering mesas and painted sandstone, but in a heavily treed, shadowy, and cool, forest. A stream paralleled the trail as Portrait and I hiked upwards. It seemed that we had left the desert behind without any warning. This wasn't the New Mexico that I had grown used too.
|The first natural stream I've seen since the Gila. It was a joy to see and the trail followed it all the way up the mountain|
|We were to gain 2,000 feet in two miles, yet the trail was well graded if a little snowy in some spots. It was a wet slushy snow that was knee deep in some places--as I found out when I postholed.|
|On our descent from 10,000 feet we took a slight wrong turn that lead us to some bushwhacking up a small hill covered in thick shrubs, but also gave us a wonderful view of a mesa across the valley in the gorgeous evening light.|
|We met up with Highlife and Speedbump as we made our way back to the trail after our detour up the hill. We were all headed to the spring for water and camping. Cecile Creek flowed along a nice little meadow and had a trail head with a gravel parking lot. We skipped the meadow, made a campfire in the parking lot, and settled down for the night|