Thursday, May 09, 2013

Day 30-Land Of Enchantment

After a cold night that dipped below freezing and froze socks and shoes the four of us left camp.  We continued our descent until we left behind the forest and were back in the desert.  As far as we know, we are the first four thru-hikers --there's no one to catch up with.
Speedbump taking a break after the morning's climb up the mesa.  The sun was shining on us as we snacked, but even so snow was falling.  My thru-hiker's hunger had kicked in the day before, so even with snow falling, I sat down to eat a handful of cookies and anything else that looked good in my bulging food bag.  We would be hitting town early the next day and I had enough food to last a few days...unless my hunger got really out of control.  
After Portrait and I scared the cows away--which doesn't take much effort really--we were able to fill up from the  pipe.  We both like getting the water before it enters the pool--even though we've had to do some long water carries we are still water snobs.  
Near the water tank clouds were gathering behind the nearby peaks.  We'd been snowed on, rained on, and baked under the hot sun all in one day so another storm wouldn't have surprised me.  
Thankfully Skull Bridge spanned the river--it was rushing faster than the Gila.  The river flowed between painted sandstone cliffs that had been carved by the elements of time.  It has taken awhile, but I'm finally understand why New Mexico is nicknamed the Land of Enchantment  I didn't get it in southern New Mexico, but I do now.  
After crossing Skull Bridge we met up with Speedbump who was taking a break in the shade cast by a pit toilet (one of my favorite places to take a break on any trail).  We joined him for snack time and I also did a little blister care that I should have waited on.  After draining a heel blister the walk on the rocky road was painful.  

Somewhere out there was Ghost Ranch--our destination for the next morning.  Storm clouds were gathering  thick and dark around six in the evening.  

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