Day 33 & 34 – 0 Miles (564 miles from Mexico)

Taking time off to come into Santa Fe to visit my bud Extreme Alan has been wonderful. He met me at Ghost Ranch and as we drove the hourish route into the city it began to snow. At 7,000. Not an exciting sight.

The trail traverses some high elevations in this next stretch (only about 100 miles to Colorado!), and all the recent storms have left a hefty layer of snow. Yikes. I have to admit, with all my winter travel experience it’s still daunting to know there is snow out there and more coming. Storms predicted all week. Ugg. Some hikers just shared their harrowing experience of the next stretch and it hasn’t done much for my nervousness, but I have used the opportunity of being in a big city to evaluate my gear.

I picked up some micro spikes, borrowed some pants from Alan, and Kirk is sending some gortex pants, snow gaiters, skis, skins, wax, new tyvek, several compactor bags, Aqua Mira (frozen filter??) and probably some others things I can’t think of right now. My gortex socks will be life savers out there, and so now it’s just doing it.

But the rest has been wonderful. Alan and Andy (housemates) have been most welcoming and have unflinchingly helped me in all my various tasks and chores (and didn’t comment on my pervasive hiker stench). So much so that the second day Alan and I were able to play tourist in Santa Fe. We stalked the Outside Magazine office, walked around the open air artist markets, looked at a few old churches, watched Mad Max, and took a short hike to an overlook of the whole city. It’s been great!

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Ate good food, caught up with a great friend, and got myself rested and prepped for the next section.

Not looking forward to the storms that will be most heavy in the next two days, but hopefully they will have done their thing and I can enjoy the sunlight for the few days of postholing I’ll have in the second half of the next stretch. Now all those big miles I’ve been doing seem to have caught up with me, but with the continued storm cycle we are facing I’m not sure it would have made much difference.

Onward!

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