Day 32: Blowdown Hurdles

May 26
Start: near Mogolito
Stop: near Canada Jarosito
23 miles
Total miles: 579

The tent is dewy and wet. The temp hovers around freezing. All that translates into a cold start. But let’s look on the bright side, my shoes are not frozen! Flat, muddy road turns into a torturous uphill climb through blowdowns. It’s the slowest and most dangerous hurdle race ever. I only put one tiny hole in my arm. Fun Size is super kind and waits for me at an awkward turn in the trail.

After lunch at the closed Upper Canjilon Lakes picnic area we (Mountain Spice, Fun Size and Shannon [possible trail name Serena Williams]) climb up over 10,600 ft. where we run into a bit of snow. It’s not too bad and I only posthole a handful of times. I don’t notice it but my gator slips up my ankle and ice melts into my shoe.

It’s one of those low energy days and I drag myself along. After getting some water, we find a dead coyote in the road. And not long after seeing a couple horses that seem like they could be wild, we find a sweet camp spot under tall ponderosas.

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4 thoughts on “Day 32: Blowdown Hurdles

  1. Sweet Jennifer, Oh, the sights that you’ve seen! I’m so proud of your accomplishments! hugs and angel hugs, MOM

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    The Chama Valley was the prelude to one of the most famous photographs ever made, Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise over Hernandez”–a haunting vision of the moon rising above a brilliant cloud bank in a near black sky over an adobe church and cemetery crosses in the tiny community of Hernandez, New Mexico. As Ansel told it, he had struggled to compose a beautiful stump along the Chama River but was unable to do so successfully. Giving up in frustration he, a friend and Ansel’s young son Michael began the long drive back to Santa Fe. Somewhere along the road Ansel sensed the emergence of what he termed an “inevitable photograph”, as described above. He nearly drove his car into a ditch getting stopped and yelled to his companions to help him get his equipment to the right vantage point before the light shining on the crosses failed. Unable to find his light meter, he remembered a calculation of the brilliance on the surface of a near full moon and based his exposure on that. As he released the shutter on his 8×10 view camera and reversed its film holder to make a backup exposure, the light disappeared from the crosses, leaving him with one exposure only to preserve the eloquent moment. The image became so successful that by the time he retired the negative, he had made over 800 16×20 inch prints of it, quite a feat since they were all arduously hand printed in his darkroom. In his later years he sold the prints for as much as $1200 each. The last one I saw for sale–some years ago–had a price of $80,000 on it.

    Emi and I traveled through the Chama Valley some years ago in an attempt to retrace Ansel’s route to the famous moonrise location. After a lot of hard searching we were able to find the approximate location but of course time had taken its inevitable toll leaving the place nearly unrecognizable due to the hand of man…and completely divorcing it of all its original magic. The lesson seems to be–even for you on your great adventure–to savor each unique moment of enchantment, for its elusive spell will never quite return to any of us.

    Well, there’s your bedtime story…

    You’ve had some amazing and challenging experiences as you’ve traversed enchanting New Mexico. I’ve certainly enjoyed the reading, much of it very artfully done. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished!

    With our love and best wishes in the fulfillment of your dreams,

    Bob and Emi

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