Day 31: 473 to 497

Today marks one month on the trail, and we have to say we are still so happy to be out here. We would not trade our trail lives for anything.

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We woke up this morning with a goal in mind, eighteen miles to water by lunch time and then seven more to camp. To reach our first goal, we started walking a little bit after 7:00am, and we did not stop until we reached our lunch spot. We were walking more forest service roads that where laid out like ribbons through the prairie that we walked across. Mount Taylor stood with pride behind us, the snow catching the sunlight.

 

Road walking is tough on the feet and the mind, so around mile fifteen we considered stopping for lunch. However, we came up on a couple in front of us. They go by the name Thunder Snow, and immediately we started finding out how much in common we had. They were such a pleasure to talk and hike with that we felt out energy return, and we were suddenly motivated again to continue until the spring, which is where we initially planned on breaking.

 

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Arriving at the spring, we all sat our packs down and geared up for lunch. Today's menu included tortillas with avocado, cucumbers, cheese, and hummus.

Trail Tip: You CAN pack out fresh vegetables, hummus, and cheese. You just have to eat them within the first couple of days and be willing to carry the extra weight. Totally worth it.

 We snacked on peanut M&M's as a dessert, and continued our conversation with Thunder Snow and Jeremey, who was already at the spring when we arrived. Soon after, everyone headed out and up the trail to finish their days. We filtered some delicious spring water, and we, too, packed up and headed up the trail.

We hiked six more miles when we came upon an escarpment overlooking a gorgeous valley below. We could not pass up this camping spot, and satisfied with the day's mileage, we set up camp.

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We enjoyed our dinner, stretching, and winding down on rocks near the edge of the cliff. The sun was setting to our left, but the real magic was the coloring of the valley in front of us.  As our eyes panned across the horizon, we saw beautiful silhouettes of Cerro Parido and Cerro Palon against a cool color background, which faded into the warm colors of the sunset. 

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What got us was the overwhelming peacefulness. Aside from the wind, there was quiet. We were even startled by the propelling *whosh whosh* of a raven's wings as it suddenly flew over our heads.

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 For now, this is our life. Some days seem long, others fly by, but overall, we are shocked that we are already a month into the trail. We try to live in the present as best as we can, but each moment still is fleeting. The best we can do is appreciate every bit of it along the way, and believe us we are so grateful.

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 Cheers to being surrounded by beauty. There is so much in this world, and cheers to the fellow venturers you meet along the way.

Garbelly & Critter

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