Day 41: Ghost Ranch Memorial Day

We have been discussing various options this morning due to the continued pain  in Yeti’s leg. We could bail out here and come back and hike this section in September. We could wait another day here and the catch the bus as we were going to before or we could push on and make it to Cumbres Pass to meet with Yeti’s best friends daughter who has offered to pick us up from the pass.

As we discuss these options I know that Yeti will want to push on and I too would like to finish New Mexico but it will not be fun if her legs goes out again like it did in Resever and she hiked 20+ miles on a leg that was extremely painful. Ibuprofen is not strong enough to kill that sort of pain.

In the end Yeti decides to hike on. We originally planned to have a zero at Ghost Ranch but with Yeti’s leg we opt for two neros to give us extra time to take it slow and hike some shorter days.

We have breakfast and enjoy some good conversation with Shortcut and his brother and sister-in-law. Shortcut even solves our Ibuprofen shortage problem by supplying us with a bag full. Shortcut has decided to go home for a few weeks to allow the snow up the trail to melt before he continues on.

We pack up and head to the reception building for some last-minute wifi and to exchange the pocket full of very heavy coins for a couple of drinks. Lots of hikers are arriving and it turns into a regular hiker gathering. We meet Footprint and Lola. Yeti gets into conversation with Cervesa who we did not meet but camped with a couple of nights back by the spring.

By the time we extract ourselves from the conversations it is 11:30 and Hob starts encouraging us to stay for lunch. Hob normally has a big family Memorial Day BBQ at his home and his wife is holding it without him this year so he is trying to alleviate some of his longing to be there by getting a good size group together at Ghost Ranch. Unfortunately we need the time to hike so we set off in the heat of the midday sun.

Ghost Ranch is in a magical setting and as  we walk the trail away from the accommodation we are treated to some more spectacular cliffs. The trail follows a little stream and is one of the day hike options visitors to the Ranch can take. As we walk up the canyon we encounter one such day visitor group and are stopped many times to exchange the usual comments.

We run into another thru hiker who reached Chama and decided there was too much snow so he would spend his time waiting for it to melt by hiking back to Ghost Ranch and doing some trail maintenance. When we met him he was carrying a great pile of rubbish he had picked up and wrapped in his towel. He had a hand saw strapped to the back of his enormous pack. I am not sure what surprised me more, the rubbish he had picked up or the full size towel that he was carrying. He keyed us in on the water in the next sections and where the trail cuts off. Of course we missed the cut off but soon realised our mistake thanks to his comments.

The trail from the stream was a really steep uphill over some very loose rocks and as usual we thought about getting horses over the trail and again decided this is not a horse trail.

The afternoon was passed walking forest roads and listening to Brother Fish. Yeti’s leg was giving her some pain so we took it fairly slow.

By early evening Yeti needed to rest and stretch her leg so we set up our tent on the edge of a cliff with expansive views over the forest below and Ghost Ranch in the distance.  Yeti takes out her mat and practices some yoga stretches and when she finishes I do the same.  What a great place to relax after a long climb.