Top of the Mountain

San Pedro Peak (25_085)
Day 35 – 5/26/17
Miles – 17.1
Total miles – 533.9

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We had a slow start getting out of town. There was a Subway sandwich store that  opened at 7:00 am. We wanted to pick up sandwiches to eat later today. To save time, we decided to have breakfast at Subway also. We arrived shortly after seven and the person tells us she had to finish setting up. She goes about her business, in no hurry, and we sat waiting. 45 minutes later she is finally ready to take our order. Catwater places her order first, and coffee is the first item she requested. The clerk says coffee will not be available for several hours. Catwater without coffee in the morning is like lemonade without any sugar. She is a sour puss (we say that with great affection)! Looking frustrated at us, she says we are going to have breakfast at McDonalds. Nonetheless, we still ordered our sandwiches for lunch to go. Finally, after breakfast at the Golden Arches, we started hiking at 8:30.
Today, hiking was literally one big up, around 3500′ and nobody was too excited about doing it. The first thousand was not a problem. We did that in 8 miles. Then we did the rest of it in 3.5 miles. As we neared the top, we started to see snow. Going up the snow was not a problem, we just hit a patch or two. The problem came as we hiked across the top of the mountain. We were at 10,500′ and snow was tucked up under the trees mainly on the north facing slopes. The top of the mountain was a series of open meadows and small streams. With the day being warm, the snow was melting everywhere and the meadows were a soggy mess. Everyone’s feet got soaked and they got cold as we walked across mounds of snow. It was slow going and no one was having much fun. Despite the soggy, swamp like conditions, the area was beautiful. Large pine trees and rich, green meadows surrounded us. It was hard to believe this was New Mexico.
Right now we are camped at the high point 10,551′ and we will start down tomorrow. It will be a cold night. Hopefully it’ll not freeze, which would turn our wet shoes into a huge ice cubes by morning. As we crawled into the comfort of our tents this evening, it felt so good to pull off our water logged shoes and socks. All thru hikers have their secret, luxury items they don’t want other hikers to know they are willing to carry the extra weight for.  Bling, Joon, and Mama Raven have their ultra fuzzy, and cozy socks they wear in the evenings and after today’s hiking those socks were extra warm and comfortable. In the beginning of our trip, Papa Raven said he did not want to bother with such items. Tonight, Papa Raven was jealous of our cozy feet!
Another reason we hope it does not freeze is, because that will make walking down the north facing mountain side that is covered in snow very hard. However, we only need to drop 1000′ or so to get out of the snow. With this being our first encounter with last winter’s snow, our minds are wondering what the snow conditions are like in the San Juan’s. There are many rumors that we hear to make us nervous, however they are just rumors.  As Papa Ravens says, we will wait and see what things are like when we get there.

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