Crossing a recently thawed section of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness

Crossing a recently thawed section of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness

CDT mile 633, miles hiked 26
No, no, no New Mexico you see it’s not you, it’s me.  I need to go, I know you have been wonderful to me with your desolate yet beautiful bootheel, where is saw ocochita in bloom and hummingbirds feeding on them. You welcomed me into the Gila and amazed me with giant trees, cold water, and cliff dwellings.  You didn’t stop there though you took me over Mt Taylor then by some of the most amazing crypto and sandstone canyons, and please let’s not forget El Malpais and Ventana Arch.

The trail angels and the ranchers we met were the best and the people of your state and are so friendly.

But you see here’s the thing, New Mexico as much as I love you and want to stay I can’t. I am a thru-hiker and it’s time for me to move on.  You see there is this other girl named Colorado who is rumored to be nothing short of wild abandon and full of danger and adventure.  As much as I want to stay with you my now familiar love I can’t, it’s time for me to go.

What I do understand is you not wanting me to leave, but really did you have to show me in such a harsh way.

A snowy forest service road was part of the game

It all started after we finished hiking through some wonderful meadows up some cliffs, and viewing elk.  After navigating some snow and then opting for the road we came to the last option on the J Ley maps, an open and probably snow free road that went low or the official route through the forest.  We left things to fate and flipped a coin, heads official, tails alternate.  Freefall produced a quarter from his pack and flipped it into the air, heads it was.

High snow makes route finding hard at times

We started on the route at first it was not too bad, we took a break at 3 and ate some snacks, we saw that we were only 6.5 miles from the border so at 3:30 we set off.  For the next 3 1/2 hours, we navigated snow, post-holing at times up to our crotch, getting scratched and having to constantly decide the best way either up, down or side hilling.  Finally, we arrived at Dixie Creek which was snow free on its far bank.

A tiny high five to celebrate the border crossing

After a brief ten minute break to fill water bottles and rest the mind for a few seconds we, we plotted our way cross country to the border only a 1/2 mile away.

We came up the hill and there in the forest was a leaning sign and a defunct barbed wire gate, how fitting.  We walked over the line and let out a cheer one state down and 4 to go.  We, of course, took our celebratory pictures and then headed up the hill to make camp.  The view is amazing and Colorado has greeted us with big mountains.

So you see New Mexico it was great and I will always love you and be back, but for now, the siren song of the Rocky Mountains is calling and I must go.


One state down


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