Day 11 – Pondering Ponderosa Pines
May 2, 10.1 miles / 126.6 total hiked
Today we finally hiked up to 7500 to 8200 foot elevations and hiked through some great, but short, stretches of legit Ponderosa Pine forest. Very reminiscent of the high elevation portions of the PCT dessert. A strong wind and cloud cover made the 2000 foot climb very unlike the hot cloudless desert traverse we were doing just two days ago. It was actually pretty chilly.
Near the top of the climb are the remains of a few cabins or houses.
Inevitably with trees came the first of the blow downs, aka trail obstacles.
The sun did break out eventually and words cannot describe how great it is to find a shady break spot pretty much anytime you want it. That combined with the aroma of sun warmed pine needles reminded us of the positive side of living in the woods.
We had to make a choice today between the Deadman’s Canyon (old CDT) route and the recently rerouted official trail that supposedly abruptly dead ends in the middle of nowhere leaving a section of bushwhacking before a long highway walk on hwy 180.
We had planned food for the older route and heard the associated road walk on hwy 90 into Silver City had less traffic than 180 so that is the route we chose. Unfortunately to avoid camping on private property that meant a short day for today and a 16 mile road walk tomorrow.
We made the most of it by stopping several times under nice shade trees, playing cards, and just listening to the wind blow through the trees.
Peak of the day: Sometimes it is nice to not hike non-stop all day
Valley of the day: Having to back track at the end of the day to avoid stealth camping on private property