Mile 599, San Francisco Peaks

Another bitter cold morning. I impatiently awaited the first light so I could get out of my cold sleeping bag and get moving and get warm.

My water was half frozen again and my fingers were very numb while packing up. The forecast lows were in the upper 30s but it’s been a good deal colder than that almost every night. It took several miles of walking before my gloved hands regained feeling all the way out to my fingertips.

But it was another blue sky day and an interesting climb into the San Francisco peaks. There were forests both lush and dry, burned areas opening up views of the peaks, aspen groves in various states of undress, and far-ranging views of the hills to the south and west.

Also lots of people. Trail runners are always the first sign that you approaching civilization, followed by their close kin the mountain bikers. And finally the day hikers, a few of whom could tell that I was hiking the AZT. It must have been the dirt.

The Kachina Peaks

The trails have been very dusty and I have been very sweaty and have become a very grimy person. I wipe my face and hand and legs down each evening with a damp bandanna, but with having to carry water 20+ miles most of the time, I can’t spare enough for more than a cursory wipedown. I do what I can.

And that’s all any of us really can do, eh?