Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day 25: Mt. Taylor Trailhead to FR 453

We climbed out of the hot, dry valley through pinyon forest into taller pines, aspen, and scrub oak, trading in the prolific cacti of the lower elevations for pale lavender lupine as we climbed. Beautiful shady trees, tall aspens rustling in the wind, and actual, well-maintained trail made for a great day of hiking. Only the dry pond beds reminded us that we are still passing through very dry country. 

Losing track of the days is common in a long hike. We did not realize that it was Saturday until we met a group of four day hikers out on the trail. Seasoned hikers, they were very knowledgeable about the sections of trail ahead and we enjoyed talking with them. This is day 25, and we have only encountered other hikers on four days thus far. 

Through the trees, we caught occasional glimpses of the grassy summit of Mt. Taylor, over 11,000 feet and the tallest mountain in the immediate area.  Some hikers take an alternate or side trip to climb this mountain, and earlier in the season it is usually snow capped. 

We happily meandered through the trees all day, stopping to camp at a hunting camp in the pines. 

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