Day 37: May 30, 2019
Destination: Ghost Ranch Alternate Mile 4.0
Today’s Miles: 23.5
Start Location: CDT Mile 666.4
Trip Miles: 589.2
I woke up bright and early, made coffee, and spotted Dutchman hiking by as I packed up camp. Fortunately, the Bogeyman did not decide to decorate trees with my bones overnight! Right after Dutchman left, I went to put my rain jacket on and heard a ripping noise when I lifted the hood. Nooooooo! My Zpacks rain jacket was mortally wounded! I seem to be having bad luck with gear lately. I added that to my list of things to take care of via the Ghost Ranch WiFi. Because Zpacks only has email support, I messaged my wife via the Garmin and asked if she could send an email to at least get me in the queue. Oh Zpacks, what am I going to do with you and your email-only support? Sigh....
I kept hiking and, of course, it started raining. I squatted, hunched over in the trail and tried to tape up my jacket. I wasn’t very successful, but it would have to do while I wait on Zpacks.
The rain for most of the afternoon was light. I hiked up and down forested hills. I stopped at a creek to get water and ate a quick lunch under the trees. It was lightly sprinkling, but a thunderstorm was rumbling somewhere.
I started hiking down in elevation and got to a canyon valley floor. The rain had stopped, but now the mud on the trail glommed onto my shoes, making my feet feel so heavy! I scraped them frequently because of this.
I crossed the Rio Chama, which was flowing well and sporting a nice, brown color. After the bridge, I turned onto the dirt road that was the Ghost Ranch Alternate. I don’t really know what Ghost Ranch is, but I know they have food to eat and they have a box of food that I mailed to myself. Both are great reasons to go!
As I walked I started to hear thunder. I turned and saw a huge storm cloud coming out of the canyon I had just exited. I couldn’t tell which way it was traveling, so I kept walking at a brisk pace.
Unfortunately, the storm would catch up to me. The lightning was impressive, but that was also my clue to take cover. The raindrops came and the wind picked up. I started running down the dirt road, trying to get to a spot where it looked like I could head to lower ground. I saw a turnoff yo ahead and dashed down it, the rain really coming down now. I paced around looking for an good spot, and saw an opening near a gully between two short trees. It was a squeeze, but I set my tent up in between the two bush trees and dove in.
The storm passed over fairly quickly, but I was done hiking for the day. Tomorrow I plan on trying to make breakfast at Ghost Ranch, but it is 7 miles away and they only serve breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30, so it will be an early, early morning. Time to get to sleep, though this spot is on such a bad pitch that I will probably be sliding off my sleeping pad all night. Good night!