Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Day 24- Early Bird Catches the Worm

Tuesday May 08, 2018
Mumm Water Cache(1.2) to CDT(565.3) to Side of dirt road(579) 271.1 miles Total miles:447.9

Mt. Taylor Alternate 

Remainder of the day 

I’m happy to report that I pulled myself out of bed at 4am to catch the sunrise on Mt. Taylor this morning. I really considered it a 50/50 proposition. The nights and mornings have been so cold lately that I doubted I would wake up and hike up to11,307 feet to watch the sunrise. Last night was the warmest I have been on trail since my second or third night. After I woke up I had the fun task of packing up in the dark. It has been a long time since I’ve done that, but it wasn’t  as bad as I remembered it to be. I used to do it all the time on the pct. I left camp a little before 5 and immediately had problems finding the trail. In retrospect I should have scouted it out last night before I went to bed. After fumbling around in the dark for a few minutes I finally found my way. The best thing about hiking by headlamp is that the trail never really looks steep. I kept my headlamp on for about 40 minutes before it got light enough to see. I absolutely crushed the hike up the mountain. It was the perfect way to start my morning and set a positive tone for the rest of the day. I love the physical challenge of climbing mountains. This could have been a climb on the AT. There were very steep parts and a false summit thrown in for good measure. My legs and lungs were up to the challenge. I hiked the entire 3 mile, 2,000 ft climb without stopping for a break. By the time I reached the top I was sweating profusely and the wind was really blowing. I missed the sun breaking the horizon by a few minutes, but it was still a fantastic experience. 

Hardest part of the day

Sunrise at 11,307 feet

Turtle and Mangus were behind me and hadn’t arrived so I used the 10sec timer function on my phone

Showing off my Zpacks pack

By the time the boys showed up I was chilled to the bone. We stayed for a little while longer waiting for the sun to break through the clouds and warm us up. The hike down wasn’t too bad and we made good time. I was all jacked up on adrenaline from the climb and kept up a really quick pace for the next couple of hours. I lost the boys for a while, but they eventually caught up to me when I stopped to take off some layers. We kept up a nice strong pace all day long. After heading down fro the summit we passed by the tiniest mound of snow. Although it was small it got me excited for hiking in Colorado at the end of the month. 

Little bit of snow

Once we were down fromTaylor we had a surprise climb up another mountain that no one expected. After that the rest of the day was mainly downhill and on forest service dirt roads. Since hiking 40 miles on a single paved road I have a new appreciation for dirt roads. They really are better than paved roads. With the early start and creamy miles the day flew by. We hiked 10 miles by 10, passed 12 miles by 12, and by 1:15 we had already hiked 18 miles. We took lots of breaks and tried not to over exert ourselves in the heat. Around 4 o’clock the early start began to catch up with me. My feet and legs held up well, but I was really tired and my pack felt like it weighed 60lbs. Since tonight is another dry camp we had to haul water for the remaining miles, camp, and tomorrow morning. Oh well. That seems to be how life works on this trail. I’m actually getting pretty dialed in on how much water I need to sustain myself. With the early start and high mileage day I’m falling asleep while I write this. I’ll let my pictures for the day tell the rest of the story. 

Pretty dirt road
Another dirt road 

12 miles of rocky road 

Not the best or worst water I’ve had

Cool looking volcanic plug. Looks like something from Lord of the Rings

Tomorrow should be another high mileage day with a lot more dirt road walking. 

“The most inspiring piece of advice I've gotten is simply to persevere. My mom taught me to always keep going no matter what from an early age. When it feels too difficult to push forward, I always remind myself, 'This too shall pass,' and then I redouble my efforts.” 
-!Liya Kebede


  1. Love your ability to make it to the mountain top for sunrise. Journey well.

  2. Good for you for trucking up in the dark -glad you were rewarded with a nice sunrise!!!