Twig Adventures

SOBO Day 92: Ghost Ranch Taco Tuesday & Santa Fe

September 24th, 2019 Harris Bear Spring mm 25.2 to HWY 84 mm 8.9 of Ghost Ranch alt. Distance in miles: 16.3 0610-1030 It rains a little more overnight but we wake to clear skies. Everything is wet though, and it’s so cold…the kind of cold that is amplified by the dampness. I need a layer for my hands but my crappy rain mits are still soaked from the night before. I put them on anyways and suffer numb hands. I get such an early start that my steamy breath is obscuring my headlamp beam. I’m not enjoying this hiking in the dark cold morning but I want to get to Ghost Ranch in time for lunch…it’s all-you-can-eat, a hiker’s dream.[…]

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SOBO Day 91: Temperate Rainforests of NM

September 23rd, 2019 Rio Vallecitos mm 2275.3 to Harris Bear Spring mm .5 of Ghost Ranch alt. Distance in miles: 26.0 0620-1700 It’s so cold in the valley in the morning, as I knew it would be. But at least we’re dry under the trees. We have to climb about 2000′ up and over the last big hill on this stretch at 10,500′. The climb is stretched out over 9 miles, so it’s pretty easy. We run into DinoDNA and Etch a Sketch, a thru-hiking couple that we met in Lake City. They are completing their Triple Crown and first met on the AT. Now, years later, they are a day away from finishing the last of the 3 long[…]

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SOBO Day 90: A Walk in the Park

September 22nd, 2019 Lagunitas Campground mm 2245.2 to Rio Vallecitos mm 2275.3 Distance in miles: 30.1 0630-1800 I sleep so well in our perfect campsite. And I get to use a toilet in the morning! The day starts off very cold. We walk through fields covered in frost wherever there is a stream or seep. First rays hit us right at 7 am and just as a I spot a herd of elk up the hill. They quickly filter into the protection of the trees. You have to get up early to be able to see these guys, especially during hunting season when everybody is out looking for them. We walk through more open fields of high grass, interspersed with[…]

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SOBO Day 89: New Mexico, This Time in Fall

September 21st, 2019 Cumbres Pass mm 2222.1 to Lagunitas Campground mm 2245.2 Distance in miles: 23.1 0940-1800 We hit the coffee shop first thing in the morning, where we meet a lady that asks about our thru-hiking. After coffee, she gives us a ride up to the pass. Her name is Chadi and she’s from Santa Fe. This happens to be our next stop off the the trail, so we hope we can meet up with her again. I’m excited about hiking today because I finally get to return to the trail in New Mexico. We reach the CO/NM border and take some pictures. It’s not hard to say goodby to Colorado because I know I’ll be back. Hello New[…]

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SOBO Day 88: Cha, Cha, Cha, Chama!

September 20th, 2019 Dipping Lakes mm 2206.4 to Cumbres Pass mm 2222.1 Distance in miles: 15.7 0615-1200 It rains and thunders overnight but I sleep through most of it, not too worried. It is partly cloudy by the time I wake but the wind is howling. We immediately begin climbing up to our last point over 12,000′. It’s a gradual ascent as we walk through what looks like a vast prarie. There are many lakes and even some trees, which help to block the wind. It’s quite the transition from the rugged San Juans. For the first time in over a month, I can’t see any more giant peaks when I look to the south, just a series of rolling[…]

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SOBO Day 87: A Planned Campsite

September 19th, 2019 Adams Fork Conejos River mm 2180.4 to Dipping Lakes mm 2206.4 Distance in miles: 26 0630-1740 Instead of just seeing where we end up for the day, we decide on a slighly shorter day for a predetermined destination. For once, the app notes that there is a campsite at a lake and even has a picture of it. It’s low (for the San Juans, still above 11,000′), just before our last big climb over 12,000′, and leaves only 15.7 miles to get to the next resupply point. We get a little later start simply because I read some comments about having to bushwhack and I want to have enough light to see. We miss the junction crossing[…]

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SOBO Day 86: Southern San Juans

September 18th, 2019 Wolf Creek Pass mm 2152.8 to Adams Fork Conejos River mm 2180.4 Distance in miles: 27.6 0840-1920 We return the bikes and meet Vickie at 8 am, just as planned. She even brings coffee and peaches for us. We have a pleasant conversation on the way up and we’re sorry to say goodby so soon to our newfound freind. She is so sweet and kind. I’ll have another person to go back and visit in South Fork. It’s cold and windy on the divide but at least the sun is shining. The trail climbs immediately up to the ridge where the ski area is and we enjoy a stroll past all the lifts. The tread is good[…]

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SOBO Day 85: South Fork Zero

September 17th, 2019 Riding bikes around South Fork Distance in miles: about 5 with the aid of wheels. We need a break after these hard stretches through the San Juans so we take a zero in South Fork. This little collection of buildings that barely registers as a town, on the way to Wolf Creek Ski area and Durango, has become one of my favorite trails towns. I’ll outline some of the reasons why. For starters, this is where Lisa lives, the lady that gave me a ride down to Lordsburg, NM back in April. She is unfortunately out of town while we are here but there is another trail angel, Karla, who leads the town in welcoming hikers. She[…]

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SOBO Day 84: Braving Some Weather

September 16th, 2019 Piedra Pass mm 2131.2 to Wolf Creek Pass mm 2152.8 Distance in miles: 21.6 0620-1400 It rains all night long, which normally is a recipe for a good night’s sleep but on this night, it stresses me out. I keep thinking of the high passes we still have to cross and how miserable the weather might be. I hope that it stops raining by the morning but it doesn’t. I groan when my alarm goes off and I still hear a steady pitter-patter on my tent. My Tent! It stays bone-dry all night with just a little condensation. I would like to stay in it all day until the weather improves but I have little food left.[…]

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SOBO Day 83: The San Juans Have Their Say

September 15th, 2019 Squaw Creek mm 2109 to Piedra Pass mm 2131.2 Distance in miles: 22.2 0610-1645 We have good intentions, mileage-wise, for today but the mountains and weather say otherwise. We are off to a great start and the morning has fine weather. The fire-haze dissipates some and the sun comes out as we climb up to the divide for the billionth time. We will stay pretty high the rest of the day. Early on, we pass someone in their tent with a dog standing guard at the entrance. The dog doesn’t bark or even move, just stares at us. We think it might be Dogma, a hiker that Relentless knows and we met briefly in Montana. We spot[…]

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