Start: near east fork rio brazos
Stop: Chama, NM
Total miles: 638
It’s one last loving fuck you from New Mexico. Frozen shoes. Socks and gators stiff as a board. Even the condensation on my tent and sleeping bag chips off in my face. There is no way I can put those ice blocks on. The sun is just pushing over the horizon as I crawl out of my tent. I put my shoes, insoles, and gators in the long reaching fingers of the sun and pack up all my gear. I put my shoes on very last which thanks to the sun, is not as painful as the Gila frozen shoe morning.
It’s not long before we’re fighting our way through the snow. Postholing around blowdowns is a little dicey. We move at about 1 mph. Three miles by 10 am. And it’s town day. Just 10 little miles until the highway where we’ll hitch into town. The fast town legs want to engage but there’s only snow speed. We amuse ourselves with funny pictures, laughing at Mountain Spice every time she falls and glissading.
7 miles into our morning we celebrate our arrival to Colorado. New Mexico, we are done with you. But like some silly joke, our resupply stop is a hitch back into New Mexico. To avoid the snow, we bushwhack down to the highway and then walk the road up to Cumbres Pass (famous for its train). It’s 2 pm when we finally arrive. 10 miles in 7 hours. The longest, hardest miles ever. The thumbs work fast and we all pile into the back of a truck headed for Chama.
After picking up Serena Williams’ truck we go get lunch. Then we hit up the post office. We rent a room at The Y and it’s shower time. The laundry mat is closed so we do a couple donuts in the parking lot. Next stop is a hiker hangout and we find friends with local homemade moonshine. But we’re hungry again so we search out dinner. Plates are licked clean. And then it’s time to sleep.