CDT Day 26: Mt. Taylor

Grants to Mt. Taylor Alternate mile 5: 22.4 miles

Total miles: 445.3

When we woke up this morning, I seriously did not want to get out of bed. I was still a little tired, and our day and a half off had seemed a bit busy. I wanted a day to just totally veg out. I thought about it in my morning daze, and even half-awake I knew that was a terrible idea. The weather was beautiful, we both felt good, we should at least save a lazy day for a few days from now when we get into Cuba. We have set reasonable mileage goals for ourselves and we’re right in schedule, so it’s good to stay that way as we have a definite end date that we should be off the trail. I’ll entertain hiking while pregnant, but we should be back home around seven months to start preparing for the adventure of parenthood.

So, I got out of bed and we had breakfast, and managed to get out of the hotel by 8am. We made a quick stop for Garrett to get Subway to take out on the trail for lunch, and then it was another 3.8 miles to intersect back with the CDT- Grants is a spread out town. As we reconnected, we saw two hikers ahead of us and two behind. We could make our Country Mouse and Shadow in front, and Steel and Twisted behind. We ended up all walking in a happy biker parade on the road for a few miles, and then turned onto the trail. The others stopped for a break, but we started up the hill. The climb went quickly, and Steel caught up to us. We’ve spoken a few times, and there was something familiar about him, but I couldn’t quite figure out what. Turns out he is also from Pittsburgh, and while we didn’t know each other there, it’s not the first time I’ve met someone from Pittsburgh who I’ve had an easy time talking to. Pittsburghers, we’re a friendly lot!

The climb petered our, and we stopped for a well deserved lunch. The others eventually headed on, and we lingered for awhile enjoying the view. We headed on down the trail eventually though, and it was so nice to be back onto a soft dirt track. We slowly gained some elevation, and leapfrogged with Mouse and Shadow. Our hiker party all caught up to each other at a water trough full of clear water. We thought we were going to have to rely on a cache, which is always unpredictable, so we were glad to find this surprise water a tenth of a mile before.

We had considered camping before the last climb of the day around here, but we made it before 4pm- a lot early to camp. Garrett and I decided to go for going up and over Mt. Taylor, over 11,000 feet. As we climbed, my pack felt heavier than ever, but the views were captivating and the few miles to the top went relatively quickly. We made it to the summit a little after 6pm, and Twisted took our picture. Normally it’s just us, so it was nice to have someone snap a photo!

We hiked a couple miles downhill, and the north side of the mountain shifted to pine covered slopes with a little snow. We settled into camp around 7pm. The temperature was already below 40F degrees, but that was still warmer than what it would be at the top of the mountain. Garrett had the other half of his sub for dinner, and I rehydrated refried beans with hot water for the first time instead of cold. No surprise, they are so much better hot, and I made myself a bean and cheese burrito for dinner with Sour Patch Kids for dessert. The joys of resupplying in town!