... Doing the tourist thing as I complete the loop. No tourists at almost 9 AM. With UL gear, no need to leave my pack down below
Deluxe apartment in the sky ("the Jeffersons")
Ceremonial room on the "balcony"
Yeah, this ultralight stuff is going to work out just fine ....
Long way down ... here's some from the previous day. Another idea I had was using a small pack to conceal the fact I'm backpacking but as hardly anyone had even a fanny pack, it was pretty obvious. Still, hard to imagine doing this in a large backpack.
Late Sunday brunch warming up on the heater vents leaving Santa Fe NM as I drive home.
... still hungry despite UL gear.
*UL Gear making a difference:
Generally, I felt much more energy to explore with the lighter gear, though there's room for improvement, especially with La Nina bringing the hot season fast to New Mexico. High miles will still wipe a hiker out and demand calories.
Specifically, jury is still out on hiking poles, though skiing soreness was a culprit in my slow start and the poles helped speed me through the last miles.
Better camera: there were some bluebirds that I couldn't photograph on the mesa, so still looking at getting a better camera (my current camera is in a cargo pocket, and not on pack currently).
Other gear notes - Windshirt: Added a Patagonia Houdini which was used a lot in the canyon, but could have just used my rainshell. Gloves: Hands were cold using a pair of new Mountain Hardware "running" microfleece gloves, which replaced my thicker Manzellas with Patagonia glove liners - maybe a windproof fleece? Experimenting with a smaller pack when leaving from my auto to hike, so observers may think I'm wearing a daypack - didn't work. Glad I had the stove and hot food since the temps when down to freezing once the sun went down. Patagonia GI II pants worked in warmer conditions, cooler conditions, then discovered they are water-repellent when washing the dust off them...
Well I could go on but I will just be shopping the sales for vendors wares, as there's no 100% solution to any gear questions.