About the Author, Yvette Beetley “Mtn Minnie”: I am a 45-year-old, single woman who loves the outdoors, gardening, my dogs, photography and wine! I have lived in New Mexico for a majority of my life and recently discovered that I need to adventure more around my own state! I have one son (25 yrs old) and two dogs – a Pomeranian (8 years old) and a Chocolate Lab Mix (4 months old).

To see more from Yvette, click her name above!

We were up at 5:15 am…. took our last hot shower for the next 5 days! I looked at myself in the mirror and said….do you have what it takes? Self: you’ll soon find out! We check the weather and it says….flood warning and thunder storms…well shit! But, by 8am…it was nice and clear! Thank you lil baby Jesus!! Our shuttle showed up and we hit the road. If you ever need a shuttle use Jeffrey at the bike ranch! He has a great sense of humor and is full of life! He had us laughing all the way to the start! What a bumpy ride!!!
Fast forward! It is now 8:39 pm! We’ve eaten, camp is set up and we’re listening to the crazy bugs cry for your blood! Not tonight! We were able to get in 12 miles today to the first water caches box. Unfortunately, we were dropped off 2 miles short of the monument and made the decision to not hike to it then turn around to hike back where we were dropped off.
So, now a little whining! Hiking down the river bed for a majority of the day was hard on the ol’ feet with all those damn rocks! No blisters to report though! Yey!!!  And, it was hot!!! Thank God for an umbrella!
Ok, now- what an awesome day! My Kid had so much patience with me because this mama had to stop a lot and take my 40 pound pack off to rest.  And, he got a trail name! Nitrous.
We drank about 3.5 liters of water in the first 12 miles. Stopped for lunch – it is so beautiful out here and serene. We saw lizards and one jack rabbit. Oh and we even did the Dixie “poke the poop” with our trekking poles. Ha ha!
The worries: will be get there before dark? We did! Will these damn bugs stop bugging us? Nope! It’s night time! Why is it still hot?
Lessons: umbrella is the key! It’s ok to take breaks! Look around the area for a good spot before just pitching your tent then having to move it!
It was windy most of night and I think I slept. I was most definitely happy that I wasn’t as sour as I thought I would be!
More to come from our first morning out on the trail!