This was going to be a grueling day--the hardest one on the pilgrimage. The reason it was hard because of the change in altitude: sea-level man here walked up to 11,000 feet above sea level. Wo!
We started off without breakfast, leaving Mora's High School gym at 5 a.m. We stopped at a lovely chapel for a snack and "encuentros' or visit. Breakfast was going to be at a beautiful Penitentes' Morada. Again, like so many of the Moradas, it looked like a Catholic gift shop set up in a small house, with a focal point of Jesus' bloody visage somewhere in the house. Most people speak Spanish in a Morada. I learned that to be a Penitentes, one has to ask to be one. Penitentes don't evangelize. And Penitentes cannot be divorced, and I would add "gay." They are usually sons of fathers who are Penitentes who are now members. Bountiful breakfast on a cold morning, with a small fire in the fireplace.
There was an older gentleman from Colorado whose house we walked by on the way to Penasco. He ran out with his camera and took pics, and soon was walking with us! We got a convert!
The road up to Holman Pass was a winding zigzag path, dirt road, in a heavily forested area, with a creek running nearby. Enrique kept walking too quickly, taking long pauses that made my muscles seize. UGH! So, along with my friend Marty (and his suggestion), we walked without the group, ahead of the group, so that my muscles didn't seize. We walked before the gia, walking up over Holman Pass. And lo and behold I got in trouble for walking before the gia (crucifix), even though we asked leadership if it was OK before we did it. Leadership is not going well on this pilgrimage.
From Holman Pass, the scenic vista was breathtaking. Beautiful! Getting over the Pass was beautiful too.
Our destination was Sipapu Ski Resort, where members of Penasco's Catholic Church picked us up. Amen! Mass was at 5, dinner after, and an early night to bed, with a promise of getting up late the next morning since we were walking only 14 miles the next day.