Day 46

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Ghost Ranch to Harris Bear Camp
14 mi ::
562 mi ::
Sunny, hot

We pack up and make the breakfast buffet at 7:30 am. This will give us one extra breakfast towards our food shortage. There is a conference going on about memetics. Everyone we ask defines it abstractly and differently. There are a lot of puffed up egos around, giving their resumés in French or boasting of legal victories. After breakfast everyone is interested in us with our backpacks on, and it’s all we can do to break away and start walking.

It takes two tries, but we find our trail up Box Canyon. A short way up I hear a buzz. It’s a small, 2-foot rattlesnake, the first we’ve seen. We give it a wide berth.

It isn’t long before we have to bushwhack up a steep slope, then pick up another trail. It’s a hot mesatop, and we drink our small amount of water quickly. Soon we have another, longer uphill bushwhack to a road. To my satisfaction we emerge from the forrested slope exactly at the end of our road, without having to use the GPS. I feel like my navigation is improving, but unfortunately Ann still often feels frustrated trying to understand it. I hope she’ll be doing it herself eventually. She’s already learned most of the techniques, and I think she’ll enjoy applying them once she starts.

Mesa del Yeso has many more trees than prior mesas, mostly Ponderosa. After a long climb we are treated to a view to the east. We think we see both Wheeler and Truchas peaks beyond the Rio Grande.

Our next road is so faint that it’s almost a bushwhack. We keep to it, though. There a lots of wonderful wildflowers, especially wild Iris, but we’re a little preoccupied by thirst. Finally we make it to Rancherilla Spring, a gushing piped spring. Ann is captivated by the beauty of it. Now we unwind, gulp the fresh cold water, and enjoy dinner in the sunset. Afterward we lug tons of water to the nearby Harris Bear Camp for the night.

I realize that I forgot to put my knee brace on this morning, and it felt great all day long, even over rough terrain. I’m hopeful that it has healed.

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