709.0 to. 730.1 (21.1 miles)
Though I got the mileage I wanted today, the hiking was tough mentally. I had to really force myself to keep going several times. I don’t know why. It almost felt like I was sick, like the feeling you get when a cold bug first strikes. I did notice I sweat more today and had to drink more than normal, so maybe I did have something. But even though I felt like I was just plodding along, it all worked out.
Highlights of the day:
- Like yesterday, the weather started out gorgeous and then rain threatened midday but unlike yesterday actually rained enough to use my rain gear. The rain lasted for several hours but was never hard. It included some gusty winds for a little while. That was chilly enough I used a piece of gear for the first time; rain mitts. They are just waterproof shells. They worked well to keep the cold rain and wind off my hands. Glad I had them.
- Several more significant stream crossings today. The first one was not large, but hikers had laid a series of smaller branches at a narrow point to form a sort of bridge. Thank you. The second one later in the day was flowing wider and deeper. A large tree had fallen across some years ago that everyone uses. Though nervous at first, it worked great, though I admit to shuffling across versus walking.
- I met several hikers who passed me during the day.
- A valley late in the day was interesting environmentally. It was narrow with somewhat steep sides, and each side had different forest types. On the left/west side was the typical New Mexico ponderosa pine forest. On the right/east side was the mountainous alpine feel, with different varieties of pine and also aspen groves. Very cool and unique.
- On today’s hike I passed a high lake, Canjilon Lake that has a well kept dirt road to it. It is a somewhat popular local fishing hole. Of significance to me, it has a real privy with TP and a real picnic table. It was a little early for lunch when I got there, but it was too good to pass up. Additionally, my tent had been packed up wet from the little bit of rain last night, so I got it out to drape on a small tree to dry. What luxury sitting at a table for lunch!
- I usually wait until the afternoon to narrow down a potential campsite. Today I planned from the start what looked like a good area very near a stream for water. It worked out nicely. One of the hikers I had met during the day picked the same area. It is nice to have little victories like this.