An early morning breakfast at Denny's. Goodbyes to Lint, Patches, and Shane who were heading toward Mt. Taylor, and a goodbye to SpoonMan who was staying another day to rest his shins more. Hugo Mumm picked up Hot Springs, Scallywag, and me and drove us to the trail head. He talked to us a bit about the geological history of the area we would be walking through, about how the lava seeped out of cracks and created the unique landscape that is El Malpais.
I got a message at the trail head from SpoonMan letting me know that I had left my trekking poles in the hotel room! ARG! I really didn't want to be THAT hiker! Hugo said he would pick them up for me and hold onto them until we walked back through Grants. Thank goodness. I wasn't too excited to hike through the lava fields without my poles. If you fall, you bleed. the rocks have a shredding texture. I was privileged enough to fall twice and bleed I did. I'll have a few more scars to add to my knees.
We found an awesome cave and took a short break in it just because it was so cool.
7 miles later we hit a road where the Warrior Hikers had cached water, which we found hidden in a bush. Delicious fresh water. We continued walking at the base of the Mesas, one of which we would walk along the top of tomorrow to get back into Grants.
When we got to a flat spot right before our ascent we decided to call it a night and cowboy camp. Hopefully this time it won't rain in the middle of the night!