September 21, 2013
Mogote Ridge to Hwy 84 (Ghost Ranch)
Today started the way the last couple have started... condensation/dew on the inside and outside of my tent. After the usual routine and after the sun had risen I was on the trail, that is to say, a dirt road. The majority of the day was on road hiking through a combination of cow grazing areas and clumps of pine trees. Along the way I crossed paths with a guy named Jesse on his four-wheeler checking out the current cattle situation, but mostly out enjoying himself. We chatted for a while and he gave me a breakfast bar and some ritz crackers. Yum! I have been packing too many sweet snacks of late and not enough of the salty variety so the ritz definitely hit the spot.
As I descended further down the road the pine trees became more plentiful for a while, until reaching Martinez Canyon. Somewhere through the canyon, I feel like I officially entered New Mexico. The temperature seemed to increase (probably just because it was after noon) and the water situation was a little bit more difficult. I can see that I am going to have to be more aware of water for the remainder of the hike and probably carry more than I think I will need because more of the sources shown on the map are bound to be dry this time of year.
Once at the highway it took a little while to get a hitch, but I was able to make it to Ghost Ranch with plenty of time left in the day to get set up camping (first night free! normally $19/night) and secure my meal tickets for both dinner and breakfast. This was of utmost importance to me. I also received a package from my sister's family, the Egle clan! So many new treats to try, I guess I'll just have to get rid of some of MY snacks in favor of theirs. Thank goodness!
Dinner did not disappoint and I enjoyed a large helping of chicken marsala with noodles and side of green beans. So nice to eat real food for a change. I also enjoyed the company and conversation of a retired couple here to relax. The Hoppers, who live in Pennsylvania, have been here about a week relaxing and going on some hikes in the area. Henry is a retired Presbyterian minister and Allison a retired floor nurse who worked on med/surg and psychiatric floors during her career. It was great to have real conversations about something deeper than the weather and exchanging pleasantries.
After dinner it was off to do laundry. Can't wait to see what's for breakfast!