Day 50 – 6/10/17
Miles – 17.0
Total miles – 722.2
The wind blew all night. Of the three groups, we had the most protection by a stand of pine trees. Treeman on the other hand, had his tent rattling all night. He did not sleep well.
Everyone packed up and we headed up the valley. With hard snow to walk on, we tried to avoid the soggy ground. Soon we neared the head of the valley. Someone came up with a short cut off up a 600′ side gully that was filled with frozen snow. This way, we would get to the flat top much faster. We put on our Microspikes and started up. The gully was very steep but our crampons held us firm as we ascended. It was not easy, nor fast. Once on top, we hiked along a grassy bench with amazing views all around. It was good to hike on real trail without any snow for a change. As the morning went on, we hiked on more and more trail. However in one section we had a very steep snow covered traverse that was a bit scary and included a climb down a rock out cropping, however all made it through safely. It was not a long section, however it took along time to accomplish. We crossed a ridge and had a great view North. Most of the mountains had very little snow on them, with the exception of the mountains off to the west.
Toward the end of the day, Joon, Mama and Papa Raven caught up with Bling. He asked us what animal was hiding in a small stand of trees. He showed us the animal and it was a huge porcupine. Before we got there, it was walking next to the trail trying to avoid Bling. As we watched it, it began to climb a tree. Soon it was easier to see it.
With so much trail to walk on, we covered a good distance. This also lined us up to get into Pagosa Springs tomorrow. The last few days of hiking has worn us out and a zero in town is well deserved.