Miles Hiked: 22
Total Milage: 297.5
Location: Pie Town Road Alt Mile 21
Today I woke up and my tent was an icicle. I said I didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag yesterday, but today was even worse! I had no idea New Mexico could be this cold in April. I feel like I’ve been cold since the day we left the scorching hot bootheel section near the border. I slowly packed up as the sun came out. It was nice to have a tiny bit of warmth as a little motivator. Unfortunately my tent would be completely soaked for the day unless I got a chance to dry it out.
The group of us left around 7am. We passed Free Fall about a mile past our camp. Thank goodness! I was surprised he kept pushing on last night. We walked on a dirt road and some very rocky dirt roads all day today. The weather improved as we made our way to the ten mile mark, right before we would begin the big climb of the day. I got some cell service so I was able to post an update on instagram. I don’t like to upload my blog until I am on good wifi which might be a while… Depending on how good the wifi is at Davilla Ranch tomorrow.
After our break at 10 miles, we began the climb up the road to Mangas Valley Lookout. The climb was no where near as bad as I was expecting. Since it was on a road, the incline was pretty gentle. The four miles to the top at 9,600 feet flew by while I was talking to Jenga and 12 Pack. There was a fire tower at the top but we just walked by it because there were signs posted that it was closed. Our friend Heidi ignored the signs and got really lucky. There happened to be a ranger at the top who let her into it and gave her all kinds of information about the area’s history and how the fire tower is used.
Speaking of Heidi, she has a youtube channel where she posts videos from the trail everyday. They are a little behind schedule for safety reasons but I reccomend checking it out! I haven’t watched any myself but I see her make them every day. Her channel is called “Stella Hikes”.
From the top of the mountain was a long descent to camp. 12 pack and I hiked it together. We were in a hurry to get to camp early because the sky was not looking great. The clouds were getting pretty dark and we were hearing some thunder rumbling in the distance. Right before camp we got some water from a spigot. As soon as we found a spot around 4pm, it started hailing. I was SO glad we made it to camp before the storm really got going. As soon as I got in my tent, pea sized hail started coming down HARD. The sky got dark and it was thundering And lightning. The hail quickly accumulated and then started turning to snow. Eventually it was raining around midnight. It didn’t stop precipitating until I woke up the next morning. I had to keep knocking the snow off my tent because it was so heavy it would cause my tent walls to cave in and sag.