“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” -John Muir

It’s time to strike off yet another state that I have completely walked through from south to north. New Mexico is now firmly in my rearview mirror. Gone are the days of empathizing with Cervantes’ “Don” and quixotically hoping the windmills in the desert are turning and anticipating the opportunity to treat lurid water for consumption. More unfortunately are the days gone past of interacting with the warm and proud people of New Mexico. Instead Skeeter’s nomadic caravan of tortured feet and carnival of perpetual hunger has reached the state of “colorful” Colorado! I knew we were getting closer to the border as the abundance of New Mexico’s state flower, the spavined and ubiquitous Bud Light Can seen littering every road and ditch from day one has now been replaced by discarded and expensive microbrew bottles and Grey Goose glass containers. Instead of small non-assuming one bedroom farmsteads, there are huge opulent McMansion log ranches. Also the number of Subarus has increased exponentially.  In a twist of bad luck we have had to road walk to Pagosa Springs due to the remaining prodigious amount of snow in the high country.  It is possible to trudge through it as some intrepid hikers have chosen to do with their snow shoes and ice axes but we have elected to bypass this section via highway 64 and get back on the trail at Wolf Creek Pass where we will then take the lower elevation Creed cutoff and up to Salida where we can merge onto the Colorado Trail.

Yesterday we took our first “zero” day.  We stayed at a  beautiful, energy autonomous house belonging to a previous Triple Crowner and friendly man named Grizzly.  His house is on a picturesque swath of land up at 8500 feet between the Weminuche and San Juan National Wilderness.  The views from up there were unreal and were the perfect backdrop to some much-needed R & R.  He gave us free reign of his domicile and bountiful liquor cabinet.  During our repose we spent the entire day doing nothing and then after that we did even less.  Today we are bravely heading out into the snow but first we will encounter an idyllic natural hot springs.  That should be good for 4 miles today and the perfect spot to camp.  The business of trekking through waist deep snow and post holing can be put off for later. For now we are basking in the high country and enjoying life.  Or alternatively, we are waiting for the snow to melt. Cheers!

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