Southern Terminus to Lordsburg, NM

April 6 CDT Mile 16.2

The rain that started about 10 minutes before I pitched my tent did not last long. We could see it ahead of us, and we had no choice but to walk into it. Shortly after I had thrown my things out of my pack and into the tent the rain cleared. The clouds literally disappeared and now it is clear. I have my tent doors open listening to a mourning dove in the distance.

Tomorrow I hope to see a roadrunner.

So much has happened today, and I am so exhausted all I can do is observe. The telling of such a day will have to wait until I can be more articulate.

This is a divine feeling. This observing.

April 7 CDT mile 39

Wow! We ended up camping at a cow camp which is not one of the water caches the CDTC set out for us, but we didn’t want to do a 12 mile day or a 29 mile day so here we are. I am camped with the hikers I’ve been hiking with since the southern terminus: Dan (The Governor) and his mom Vic, and JD and Boomer, two retired hikers who met on the AT. Many CDT hikers have hiked other trails but this is Vic’s first. I hiked with them most of the day, the guys were a bit behind us.

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) has set up five water caches in this first 86 mile section; this comes with the shuttle that I paid for, as well as a goodie back with hiker stuff in it and a year long membership. They work super hard for hikers and they are much appreciated by this hiker.

I am worn out and done with all my hiker chores (filtering water, making dinner, cleaning off my feet, stretching, this all after setting up my tent.)

Off to sleep.

April 8 CDT mile 58.3

A good day. I was hiking in the dark this morning and saw a jackrabbit the size of a small deer in the trail. Now I understand where the whole jackalope thing came from. And about an hour later an owl swooped right in front of me while I was hiking up a wash. Vic and Dan caught me about a mile from the third water cache and I hiked with them for a bit. They hike fast! I was still tired from yesterday and they wanted to do 24 miles. Not this girl. I stopped at the fourth water cache and I’m so glad I did. My feet thank me. It was super hot today and along the trail ranchers set out tired filled with water for cows. And hikers. I took some time to cool off and boy did it make a difference! Bringing the core temp down makes me feel so much better.

Boomer was behind me and he should be here any minute now. It’s nice to camp with friends.

Tomorrow I’m going to get up super early and hike hopefully half of the twenty miles I need to hike to the next and last cache. There are some more tires with water along the way so I should be good. It’s just so much better to hike in the dark. So much cooler.

April 9 CDT mile 78.4

Today was hotter than yesterday and I was glad to be up hiking at 4:30am. A good day. I must have lost the trail at least two dozen times in the first four miles. Frustrating. Boomer was not far behind me and we found Dan and Vic at the water trough that I had briefly considered yesterday. We all hiked together for a few miles to a sweet water source for cattle. This tower and pump were solar operated and while the tower created shade for Boomer and myself, the solar panels created shade for D and V. The water was delicious and ice cold. We all soaked ourselves. Boomer and I congratulated ourselves on getting 10 before 10: ten miles before 10am. A first for me! Whoop!

After that we ran into Trail Dog and Marmot who I met when I first got off the bus. They found Vic’s trekking pole. Hopefully Boomer can get it back to her in town. They hike so fast we may not catch them.

So here I am just past the last cache, waiting for my Mac and cheese to cool so I can wolf it down.

Tomorrow I’ll get up early again and hike the eight miles to Lordsburg. McDonalds is calling me.

April 10 CDT mile 86 Lordsburg

Well, here I am chilling out at the Econo Lodge in JD and Boomer’s room, waiting for my room to be ready. I ran my hiker errands at the Dollar General and now I’m ready for the next stretch to Silver City.

Earlier we were in McDonalds and we ran into Radar, who organizes the shuttles and water caches for the hikers. We told him about Vic’s trekking pole and he said that maybe later today he could figure out a way to get it to her. Radar seems to know where any hiker is on trail at any given time. He’s also a great resource in terms of trail knowledge and alternates. It’s nice to have someone like him around, for sure.

Thank you friends for reading, and until next time!

-Cougar

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