Slow day

Near Lobo Springs (21_126)
Day 29 – 5/20/27
Miles – 19.7
Total miles – 427.1

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In our hotel room, we packed our packs last night so there was not much to do to get ready to go in the morning. With the arrival of the new day, we got to breakfast at 6:00 and had the place to our selves just as Catwater came in.  Afterwards, we returned to our rooms, put on our packs, and headed out.
Northward we walked on surface roads, meandering through neighborhoods, until we got to the main road leading up toward Mt Taylor. We road walked about 7 miles until we reached the trailhead. At one point, a van stopped and the driver asked if we wanted a ride to the trail head.  Our goal is to walk a continuous path from Mexico to Canada and to skip a section by getting a ride is cheating. It was awfully tempting especially since the gentleman had two other hikers in his vehicle that he was transporting to the trail head. Nonetheless, we walked on. Shortly afterwords, we past a prison, with its tall tower overlooking the yards of work out stations, task fences, razor wire, and patrolling guards. Two of them, with a dog, were walking the outside parameters.
Once at the trailhead, for the first time in many days, we will get to actually walk upon honest to goodness, man made trail. Oh the joy! It seems we have been forever hiking on roads. Well, our first bit of trail was a large climb. We covered the distance quickly and got to the top of a mesa. We had great views to the south and west. The top was very flat, with only the most gentle climb. It slipped upwards towards Mt Taylor.  The rest of the day, we spent heading up and around Mt Taylor. The mesa top was covered with short junipers and Pine. None of them growing more than 30′ and there was a great deal of various types of cactus.
By the end of the day, we had climbed to over 9300′ and we had left the cactus and juniper behind. The trees were much taller, the trail was covered with pine needles, and best of all, the air temperature was much cooler. Hundreds of feet of altitude to climb await us, but that is tomorrow. For now, we are snug in our tents. Bling and Joon, are already asleep.
For the most part, today was a slow day. The increase in elevation got to us. Our bodies were sluggish. Tomorrow we climb a bit more then traverse around Mt Taylor then down we go. That will be good

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