Saturday, October 29, 2011

Backpacking with Kiley

Are you ready for an adventure? Kiley and I are always ready!

The week before this semester began, I decided that it would be fun to take Kiley on a week long backpacking trip in the Pecos Wilderness, one of my favorite places in the world. It was Kiley's first time backpacking for real, and I hadn't gone in several years. Needless to say, it was quite an adventure.

Here we are at the trail head:


There were quite a few rivers to cross:


After a long day of hiking the first day, Kiley and I got lost. We wandered around for quite a bit trying to find the correct trail, but it was hopeless. We had somehow followed a false trail and found ourselves in the middle of nowhere.

So, we sat down and decided to have some lunch. It was great, and we were soon energized enough that we continued onward. I found what looked like it could be a trail, but alas! It was a nasty mud pit! And it smelled like crap! I stepped down, my foot sank in, and I tried to free myself. However, the mud suctioned my foot and pulled my shoe off. I lifted my other foot up, and the same thing happened. I fell forward and was lucky enough to have a log to sit on, but my shoes were long gone. They were completely buried in the crappy mud, and I had no spares.

However, I was lucky to have the greatest wife of all time who dug out my shoes with her bare hands!


It was pretty nasty:


After the first day, we were worn out. We found the trail after following the GPS up a sheer cliff face. It scared Kiley half to death -- did I mention she's super afraid of heights?

I guess I should have warned her about the next day of our journey. In order to reach Truchas Peak, our destination, we would have to hike along a cliff. It was a beautiful sight! But, the trail was about a foot wide with a huge drop on the other side, and the rocks slipped easily under our feet. Kiley wasn't so happy with me after this part of our journey... However, she has since forgiven me. Which means that I'm taking her to the Grand Canyon for Spring Break! :)



Once we got to our destination, we saw lots of wildlife. We especially loved all the bighorn sheep!




This is the beautiful view from our campsite. We stayed at this site for 2 nights:



What's backpacking without a nice dip in a mountain lake????


Look at this awesome ram that we saw from a distance! It was pretty incredible. I wish I could have taken a better picture...


We ended our journey a day early (on Thursday) because we felt like we needed to get back to the real world. To do so, we ended up hiking over 13 miles in one day, and both of our knees gave out. It must have been quite a scene to see us limping together with our walking sticks! We felt like little old people hobbling down the mountain.

When we made it to the bottom, we were able to find a nice man who gave us a lift to a small convenience store where I called my brother Jared for a ride back to Santa Fe (he dropped us off for our trip). He came and picked us up, and when we made it back to Santa Fe we found that the Corolla's radiator was spewing steam! There was a big hairline crack in the radiator, and we didn't feel safe returning to Albuquerque. Jared and Jenny were gracious enough to let us stay with them and clean up at their house.

We were truly inspired to return a day early because, if we didn't, our car wouldn't have been able to be fixed until the following Monday, since there are no mechanics open over the weekend. Since we came back a day early, we got the Corolla fixed Friday morning, and we made it back to Albuquerque when we were originally planning to. I'm so grateful we did because school was starting the following Monday, and we needed the weekend to prepare!

It was a great trip, and I'm so grateful that I could spend that time with my eternal sweetheart up in the mountains. It was so much fun! I also know that our Heavenly Father guided us and granted unto us our lives, because we would have died without Him. No joke.

1 comment:

Celestine said...

Kiley, what a great first-time wilderness experience for you! And Sam, it's awesome that you were able to go backpacking after such a long absence--and with your sweetheart in tow!