…so it’s time for another photo essay from Zippy’s camera roll.
As you can see, Zippy encountered a lot of snow as he hiked up from the New Mexico desert to the San Juan Mountains, which are having a very high snowpack season. It’s been some of the most difficult hiking he’s ever done, even with snowshoes, sidestep crampons, and an ice axe.
Fortunately, he has fallen in with a great group of people to brave and enjoy the astounding terrain together, including the president and vice-president of ALDHA West (the American Long Distance Hiking Association)… Liz “Snorkel” Thomas, who held the unsupported speed record on the Appalachian Trail for five years… an international mountaineering guide, a backcountry ski guide, and other super experienced hikers. Usually he prefers to hike solo (or with me :-), but for safety’s sake he’s buddied up, and these folks are his tribe: serious, skilled, dedicated, but fun.
He has also stayed in town a bit more than expected, as he and his fellow travelers resupply and rest, so don’t feel too bad for him up there shivering. They have enjoyed lots of restaurant meals and friendly barbecues. Plus, Allgood is a champion yogier. (Yogi-ing, according to that font of wisdom, urbandictionary.com, is “the art of politely gathering food from other hikers/campers by means of conversation without actually asking for it. If one asks for the food it is no longer yogi-ing, but rather it is simply begging, which is shameful.”
They even did a bit of sightseeing, including the Museum of Mining:
This wasn’t even the creepiest tableau. I don’t know who made those mannequins… stuffed with love, no doubt, but this museum could pull off one hell of a haunted house come October.
And in their spare time, one of the hikers is doing gear reviews, so J. and his companions got to help test out sleeping pads:
After town, smaller groups of hikers split off to take different routes: some are waiting for snowmelt, three took the high route, and Zippy, Allgood, and Buttercup are taking the lower route, the “Creede Cutoff.” Here’s some wildlife from his last stretch…
That’s it for now. Zippy is now in town celebrating the birthday of POD, one of the hosts of the popular Trail Show podcast, with a gaggle of other hikers. Further updates as events warrant! And if you can’t wait for more, Zippy got himself an Instagram account, so to see extra photos, follow him there–under Zippy Morocco, of course.