Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 28: La Ventana Mesa to Cuba, NM

The sandstone cliffs of La Ventana Mesa glowed in a ombré of reds and golds. Two wild mustangs disappear like ghosts into the junipers. Deer and elks tracks lead the way down the trail. 

Low on water, we beeline for Jones Canyon Spring while dreaming of cold water, icy Sprite, and other cold beverages. The water seeps from the ground underneath a large sandstone overhang, slowly dripping into a waiting trough at about 5 minutes per liter. Water overflows the full trough, creating a tiny stream for 15 feet before it disappears underground. 

Impatient, we scooped out of the trough where a elk drank only moments before. Hundreds of swallows swoop overhead, then return to mud nests plastered to the shady overhang.  We explored the sandstone ruins of a two room structure a few hundred feet away from the spring. 

The trail continued with a series of steep climbs and descents as it followed along the edge of a mesa, dropped into a narrow canyon, then climbed back onto the mesa, only to drop into another canyon. Ladder-like steps carved into the sandstone brought us back up onto the mesa the final time. 

The CDT follows the highway into the town of Cuba, New Mexico. A large vehicle pulled up along the highway ... The Trujillo family, on their way home from swimming. We enjoyed talking with them, and we're happy to have the chance to thank them in person. 

We finished our day with a delicious dinner at El Bruno's Mexican Cafe. 

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