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  • Gillian Larson

South from Cuba


I spent the 9th doing chores in town, then on the 10th I drove up to Cuba, NM, where I stayed in the fairgrounds. This morning I departed from fairgrounds and drove a couple miles outside of town to place where I could park the truck at a trailhead. A local rancher nicknamed “Bird” saw me and said to give him a call if I needed help, which was great because I was going to need a ride in a few days to get back from fairgrounds to pick up my truck after I finished this section; I was planning to drive Tuna Can back up from Grants and then leave it behind at the fairgrounds in Cuba while I drove back to L.A. i Bombshelter for a brief break to let the snow melt in the mountains north of here; when I come back again, my mother will be with me and she will help me throughout the summer before she has to return to teach again in the fall.

This was a very scenic section, riding south on the trail back towards Grants, and one of the prettiest days on the trail for a long time. One challenging part, however, was that the trail dropped straight off a mesa and was glad I was going down, not up; I could see the borium on horses’ shoes leaving marks as they were sliding on the sandstone. In the afternoon the wind got hideously strong and it was all I could do to keep my head down to avoid dirt in my face. I also started encountering fences without gates for stock to pass through, so I dropped down to a nearby dirt road with cattle guards and gates that I could use to get the horses past the cattle guards. We rode through the wind and on that dirt road for about 10 miles to the camp spot where I had left a water cache the day before as I drove up to Cuba.

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