Home » Word from the Spork, Memorial Day, 2014

Word from the Spork, Memorial Day, 2014

I am in Grants, NM. I can’t really say how many miles exactly we have hiked. Mexico to Canada is the goal. Wherever the trail takes us is where we go. The trail takes us through a bit of everything. Last week we were following the Gila River for 4 days. The trail ran back and forth around a hundred times. I had my concerns with how I would hold up and was pleasantly surprised. As long as my feet stay wet there are no problems. It’s when my feet are drying that the blisters try to form.
It was so cold down in this canyon at night that our shoes froze solid. A little morning fire and we were back in the game. This trip along the Gila was my favorite part of the trail so far. It was absolutely brutal a lot of times but beautiful. It was great to hear running water and be surrounded by green. Last year there was a huge forest fire that was followed by a big monsoon in the late summer around the entire Gila Wilderness. The entire area was plagued by tons of roads and trail almost being wiped clear by the flooding. There were a lot of areas where you had to pick a point and head for it and then orientate again. We have climbed over and under our share of trees. After we came out of the Gila, we climbed up onto these rolling hills covered in amber waves of grain. The wind was blowing and we had a perfect trail running from mountain to mountain. It is very difficult to guess how far things are out here. It is so vast and there is nothing to give it any scale. It adds a whole different level to the mental game. It can be amusing and maddening. Since then the route has taken us on a series of trails and forest roads through the middle of absolutely nothing. We had an amazing stop in Pie Town.
Pie town has a population of 50. There are two pie cafĂ© that are open every other day so there is no competition between the two or maybe not enough people to eat at both. There is also the Toaster House. A true trail angel named Nita owns this house but lives in her other house 3 miles away. She has kept this house open to hikers and bikers for years. It has everything you could want including an awesome old school wood fired oven. I made some Cincinnati style cheese coneys for everyone one night and then cooked some elk steaks that were in the freezer the next. On our rest day we had no problem getting anywhere we needed to go because of Nita and a RV camper named James. We got to spend some time with Nita and chat about the desert and Pie Town. She loves both with all her heart. Thank you Nita so much for being so sweet and caring. You are truly at the top of the trail angel class! 
After leaving Pie Town we were headed to Grants where I sit now. There was a 22 mile dirt road walk coming out-of-town that was DESOLATE. We got our water where the cows drank and watched every once in a while as a rancher passed us kicking up huge puffs of dust. The clouds moved in and we dealt with some off and on heavy sprinkles. It was actually a welcomed sight. Rain and clouds make the desert smell like nothing else. Sweet and vibrant, which you don’t get the rest of the time. After getting to a paved road NM 117, we passed through The Narrows. If we have to walk a paved road this is the one to do it on. On the right there were 500 foot sandstone faces of a huge mesa. On the left there was a huge 40 acre lava field. This was from a volcano that erupted 1,500 years ago which is a pretty young lava flow. The field looked very ominous and magical with the dark rain clouds looming over them. The sandstone face was different every step of the way. There were deep canyons and huge perfectly wind carved holes which were booming with life. This is one of the best birding stretches in New Mexico. We saw 3 elk one night just wandering around the base of the cliffs. This was the first time I have been really close to an elk. They are some goofy looking creatures. They look like a mixture between a big deer and a llama.
The last week has been all over the place which makes for some fun and interesting hiking. I have been very fortunate to stay healthy for almost the entire hike. I think becoming a smarter hiker and knowing when I can push myself has made all the difference in the world. I feel very comfortable out here and the experience gained from the AT and the PCT has become more valuable than I ever could have imagined, on the trail and off. I am having a blast and I hope you are enjoying the journey as well. I’ll try to keep it interesting. I want to say thank you to everyone for the love and support. It really does make a difference. Thanks again Dad for keeping the blog updated and looking great. Couldn’t do it without you! Thanks Mr. Matt Sanchez (aka The Sanch) for the donation. It is greatly appreciated.
Today we leave Grants and head for Cuba. Kipper is getting back on the trail from Jacksonville today and our buddy, Kwai, is meeting us in Cuba to hike with us for a couple of months. I am pumped! The group just gets better. Tomorrow we will climb Mt. Taylor which is over 10,000 feet. Hopefully the weather holds out until after we get past it. As snow falls in the Rockies, I am very happy that we are where we are on the trail right now. Right now it’s time to enjoy this last part of New Mexico. Spork out!

Sent from my iPhone

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One Response to “Word from the Spork, Memorial Day, 2014”

  1. Erika K says:

    What a glorious adventure! I find it all to be very inspiring. Living life to the fullest is exactly what everyone should do. Mother Nature is so breathtaking with all her mountains, peaks, valleys, rivers, deserts, oceans and sky. I find when you walk the earth you can feel so much life from everything around you. Looking forward to more stories of your great adventure!

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