Days off!! Food and beer and good company! We had heard that on May 23 the mayor of Chama and the New Mexico Governor would be declaring the city a gateway community for the CDT. I had a feeling Teresa with the CDTC would be coming to town, and yes! In fact Snorkle and Val would be coming with her, the weekend was sure to be a blast.
I just lounged around most of the day, and when the CDTC ladies rolled into town we decided to go out to dinner at the High Country Restaurant. A huge burger and a couple beers later, I was fat and happy and was stoked to get to catch up with Boston Bones and Axyl who had hitched up from Ghost Ranch for the festivities.
There is a LOT of new snow in the southern San Juans, and more in the forecast…we are all trying to figure out the smart way to hike…lots of talk of flipping and low routes. A few guys pushed through the actual CDT north of here, but it all sounds pretty sketchy to me…I have a feeling they aren’t experienced with backcountry snow…and if they were they would not have gone through as they did. I feel like I have enough experience and knowledge of avalanches to be pretty wary of the conditions. The Colorado avalanche forecast center will stop their forecasts after this weekend, but the word is heavy wet avalanche danger. Hmmmm. Even with skis, that’s not a good outlook for the next section.
Saturday a whole bunch of hikers hitched up to Chama for the festivities and we all gathered at the train station for not only the gateway celebration, but the inaugural trip of the narrow gage train.
Lint was there! Shane too! And Bearclaw came to town! More hikers than I had seen the whole trail…what a trip. I really was at the front of a mass of hikers. Teresa thinks about 200 hikers started northbound this year, by far the largest number so far on the CDT.
I also got to meet Let it Be, or Neen, the famous triple triple crowner…who is well on his way to a quadruple triple. Wow, very impressive.
We passed the day with a huge group lunch at the High Country Restaurant, and a few cases of beer…we hikers are pretty predictable in that way…beer and food please!