May 22nd
Ojitos Canyon(545.2)-Ghost Ranch(560.6)
Camp Elevation: 6,462ft

Today was technically a town day, so I was excited to get up and get going. We were deep in Ojitos Canyon so there was no sun to warm us up this morning. Thankfully when I hiked out at 6:30am, it was in the upper 30s, so it wasn’t too cold. We all really liked the hike this morning. I mentioned yesterday that we went deep down into the canyon and that it was difficult to get pictures of it. Well, here is what I mean. Through the trees we were able to see these colorful mesas that made up the canyon and this morning as we came out of the trees, I was able to get more shots. They are very impressive in person! Here is Stryder with one of the mesas behind him.

It was a relaxed downhill to level walk with a cool breeze once we got out of the darkness of the canyon. The trail was a soft sand and it was just relaxing to take in the views.

We soon crossed over a bridge of the Rio Chama and then followed a compact dirt road the second half of the morning that wound along the river a good portion of the time. It was very relaxing and I listened to more of my Wildwood audiobook and cruised taking in the scenery.

The destination for the day was Ghost Ranch. It is one of the detours that takes us off the “official route” and parallels it. For a bit. I will give more details about the ranch and it’s history tomorrow as we are planning a relaxing zero here while the snow melts in CO. When we arrived, we found out that we missed Balls and Sunshine by just 30mins, but Beacon (who has been hiking with them and is also our PCT 2011 classmate) was still there. Beacon and another hiker named Problem Bear have minor injuries that need some rest and they were getting a ride up to Pagosa Springs to do some sightseeing and possible trial magic up ahead. Beacon is amazing and is already a triple crowner. He even created a data book we are all using that can give us all the waypoints and important info at a glance on small printed out pocket list. Beacon is a very giving man and he immediately saw us and offered up his room that he was no longer going to use, but had paid for. We had planned to camp in the campground and it was a small room, so Ninja and I ended up getting the room. Such a great coincidence! Another hiker’s wife was also there and her nickname is Just Visiting. She is assisting her husband Bamboo Bob who will be getting off the trail soon in the next town. She was great to visit with and even gave me and Ninja clean clothes to wear while we did laundry. Here I am with Beacon and clean COTTON clothes! THANK YOU Beacon and Just Visiting!

Ghost Ranch is a fairly remote ranch with various types of rooms and bunk houses for retreats and visitors. Georgia O’Keeffe lived here and in this area for 40yrs and the scenery can be seen in many of her paintings. I will go into detail on this in tomorrow’s entry, but I wanted to show where I am staying. I am in the building to the right of the trees and the mesa behind the building is just beautiful with many layers of colors.

It is very relaxing here with few people and great wifi. I’m looking forward to a very relaxed day of Hulu watching tomorrow. I did laundry, shower, my resupply, and caught up on emails today, so I’m all set to take a true zero tomorrow and RELAX!

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