CDT mile 442, miles hiked 23.5

The top of Mt Taylor 11,301 included Zorro, Wildernessie, Cheezy, Peg Leg, Greg in Wild, Sweet Potato, Freefall, Buttercup, Bandit and Allgood

The day started with warm temps, it might have been the warmest night yet on trail.  Our bags didn’t even have condensation so we ate breakfast, packed up and headed to the trail for our big climb up Mt Taylor, an 11,301′ tall peak and the highest point we will hit in NM.

The climb started at a nice grade through a grove of old aspens, then at around 10,000′ we broke through the forest to meadows of grass all the way to the summit. The trail was nicely switched backed but the elevation got all of us and we moved slowly uphill each at their own pace.  Finally I reached th summit spur and saw the boys up top.  We all gathered at the summit and I let out a might shout of RICOLA to the valley below.

Shortly after making the summit Greg in Wild, Zorro, Wildernessie, Desperado (later to be re-named Cheezy), and Peg Leg all joined us at the summit. Being Saturday some others day hikers shared the summit with us and we were able to get a great group shout of all 10 of us a the the summit, a real treat.

We threw a few snowballs, ate snacks and then the 5 of us started down leaving the others to their break.  The north side of Taylor still has some snow and we had to post hole for about a mile.  This was a good preview of what lies ahead on trail.  After post holing reapeatedly I finally got a few cuts on my legs from the icy crust, my bleeding would later be good trail markers for the ones behind us. At one point many left foot went down and got jammed.  I layed in the snow looking like Ralph from the movie the Christmas story, stuck and unable to get up.  I had to take off my pack and start digging to finally get my foot loose.

American Canyon

I met the boys at the bare ground below and we grinded on.  The next climb really was the bigger, by the time it was over most of us felt out of gas.  We worked our way down a road and eventually came to American Canyon Spring.  As we ate lunch we debated if it would rain today as the sky has been dark and stormy looking.  Buttercup once again assured us all that it doesn’t rain in New Mexico.  A few hours later it did sprinkle on us.

Myself and the rest of the boys were spent and at the standard 4 o’clock break we agreed to stop hiking at 6:30 and get some rest for tomorrow.

The safe haven of my Gossamer Gear tarp

So I lay now under the safety of my tarp ready for any storms that might come tonight.

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