Day 15: Outhouse Campout

Start: fs road 94
Stop: Valle Tio Outhouse
Miles: 23.5
Total miles: 287.7

It’s about 25F as we pack up our gear. My water has ice crystals in it. A few snow flakes fall and accumulate on my tent. After rejoining the main trail we climb straight up a mountain towards a dark cloud. It’s 39F now. It starts sprinkling lazy snow on us. And as we descend there are flurries that come and go. I get cell service and find messages that brighten my spirits. I bound down the mountain like a little kid.

Our water source of the day is a great windmill pumping water into a large holding tank. Its blades spin rapidly in the wind. And even though the sun is out, it’s cold enough for my puffy and animal hat. We find hiker Tumbleweed there and he reminds us about mother’s day. We do a quick photo shoot and I email a pic to Tumbleweed’s mom.

The Pie Town Road (dirt) Alternate meanders through the mountains. The hills are quiet. Do the animals know something that I don’t? The clouds have descended and the wind gusts at times. Despite the shade, the climbs are steep and sweaty making it hard to stay warm. After a break, Beads and I hike together a short distance before coming upon some quad-driving folks camped out. They invite us over for hot chocolate and campfire. We talk the trail and soon the snow flurries are pushing down the mountain slapping us in the face. Beads and I were going to be hiking up that very mountain, straight into the snow. But thanks to a cup of hot chocolate our plans change. As I shake uncontrollably, we walk another half mile down the road where there is a primitive campground with a very clean outhouse. Our home for the night is warm compared to what’s happening outside.

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