Today is a big day. We woke up earlier than previous mornings, to beat the softening of the snow. Marching along we made good time. We had several more feet to climb before descending down to Cumbres Pass. Seemingly aimless we climbed snowpack mounds which made us tall among the branches of the pines. We came to an exposed ridge looking out on mountains much taller than ours and their snow capped peaks. Due to the holiday weekend, we had to rearrange our packages that were sent to the post office. The post master offered to leave them at a fudge shop for us to retrieve. Fudge shop? Don't mind if we do!
We picked up even more speed as we headed down the other side of the mountain. Our micro-spikes were on our shoes and we were ready to move quickly over the softening snow. It was no easy task. We still slipped and slid all over the places using our poles to catch ourselves if we started to slide too far in the wrong direction.
At one point we spotted fresh bear tracks in the snow, and from the looks of it, it seemed that he, too, was struggling with the slick terrain.
We even have a couple of chances to slide down slopes of snow as if we were on sleds.
Finally, the sign that we were hiking towards appeared in front of us up a slight hill. We raced to reach it and take our first step over the border separating the Land of Enchantment from the Colorful Colorado. We made it to Colorado! We hiked through the entire state of New Mexico, and now it was time to "level up".
Proudly we crossed over the border entering the Rio Grande National Forest and a new part of our adventure. We continued on through snow until we came to a ridge-line tunneled with high winds.
Our micro-spikes were taken off too soon as the earth once again became covered in snow. This time we had all down hill right to the pass. Sliding would be inevitable. The goal was to slide uncontrolled and out of the way of the trees below. We dreamt of skis and their ease of taking us down the hill. Instead, we slid on our sides, on the tread of our shoes. Reaching the road, Critter threw her thumb up at the first truck coming around the corner followed by a thumb from Glimmer. The driver pulled over, and we ran to jump in the truck bed. Driving down from the mountain and into the lusciously green Chama River valley was undoubtedly romantic. Picturesque views, our laughter and happiness of the day, and the collective sigh of relaxation. We were headed back into New Mexico to Chama.
New shoes awaited us at the Fudge Shop and our snow gear at the Chama Trail Inn, where we would stay the night. We were excited to stay at the Inn in one of its character-filled rooms decorated with neutral colors and the pop of turquoise.
We enjoyed dinner with Glimmer, Arcade, Yee-Haw, Glimmer's parents, and three women from the CDT Coalition, including the executive director. To us, we were dining with celebrities.
After dinner, we headed back to our room for a much needed sleep.
Cheers to Colorado. Until next time, New Mexico!
Garbelly & Critter
Over the course of this last section, we so enjoyed spending trail time with Glimmer and Arcade. We cherished getting to know them, and how quickly we began a little trail family. We laughed, some of us may have cried, we sang, and we hiked. We hope to see them up trail, maybe in Montana! Happy Trails, you two!