April 11 CDT mile 106
I hit the 100 mile marker today! It was written in tape on the side of a cattle trough that was also my water source. Yay! I’m still surprised at my mileage, I guess I thought I’d have to work up to these kinds of miles but here I am.
Boomer and I left Lordsburg around 7:30am and I was pleased that our 3 mile road walk had a generous shoulder for us. I don’t like rod walks and this trail has a number of them. Sigh.
We cut across the desert slowly climbing and ran into Trail Dog and Marmot, and OB. We all took a break together in the sun and marveled that it wasn’t too hot. It’s supposed to cool down in the next few days and we all welcome the change.
The last few miles today were a struggle. I was tired and my feet hurt from the cross country miles. The CDT isn’t always a nice clearly seen path. Lots of times it’s just signs every 500 yards or so. This kind of trail is rocky and well, there is no trail. Ugh!
When Boomer and I got to the water source it was a pond. Not the good kind. It was super windy and it took me 5 tries and about an hour to get my tent up. I had a minor meltdown and Boomer helped me get it pitched, finally! I decided then and there to ask Keith to send me his Big Agnes tent. My ultralight tent is proving to be lacking in certain areas that I find crucial in a tent. One of them being it requires a lot of finesse and patience to pitch correctly and usually at the end of a hiking day I just want to pitch a tent and get in it.
So yeah, I’m appreciating this tent now but I know our days are numbered!
April 12 CDT mile 123 Burro Mt. Homestead
I broke camp to the sound of OB, TD and Marmot passing by on trail. We caught up with them soon and we were all merrily hiking down some pretty nice, well marked trail. Cruiser trail as I like to call it. I just cruise down trail. Soon we came to our first trail magic of this trail: a water cache. Radar left five gallons of water next to the trail under a tree. The best! We all cameled up and said goodbye to Boomer, who was going to try to find a ride to Silver City. His feet have lots of blisters on them and he needs them to heal. I’ll see him again on Sunday when I get there.
As OB and I reached the base of Jacks Peak and Burro Mt it started to snow. Just small flakes floating through the air. Nothing sticking or anything. It made the 2,000 foot climb up really nice. Beautiful. As I climbed the landscape changed and soon I found myself in among tall pines and cedars. It smelled like home. I felt elated! Soon we reached the summit of Jacks Peak and evaluated our water situation. I had enough to make it the four miles to the RV park, as did OB, so we donned our warmer clothing and gloves for the descent. But first we had to climb a short distance up Burro Mt. Then we dropped down and took a well marked dirt road down a mile to the RV park. So nice. We found the camp host, Dave, and he told us where to pitch our tents and where to find the free showers.
After getting set up I took a long hot shower. Utterly divine.
The sun is down and it’s supposed to be cold tonight. Goodnight!
April 13 CDT mile 143
It was incredibly cold last night. There was ice on the walls inside my tent. This tent is single walled, which means you don’t put a rain fly on it. It doesn’t need it. The company that makes it recommends leaving the rain flaps open to reduce condensation, which is what I did. Big mistake. Every time I got up to pee I hit my head on the icy walls. My sleeping bag got wet. So after about four hours of hiking this morning I laid it out flat in the sun to dry. Good to go!
Anyway, tent drama aside, today was a great day hiking. I had cruiser trail most of the day and have found a lovely spot to camp for the night out of the wind.
Tomorrow I’ll hike into Silver City! Yay!
April 14 CDT mile 161 Silver City
Last night was not nearly as cold as the night before so I actually got a good night of sleep. I packed up and walked 6 miles down a small canyon that opened up as I dropped in elevation. Huge granite rock formations lined the canyon and I realized that the desert here is a body and mind connection: the landscape is the body and the light is the mind. Morning light makes the rocks speak. As the sun gets higher and the canyon floor is exposed the junipers change color and their fragrance is a bit muted. The cows stand behind me as I fill my water bottle from their trough.
I got to the highway and prepared myself for the 13 mile road walk into town. I started walking and soon realized that this road walk sucks. Big time. Just as I was thinking this a truck pulled over and a young woman asked me if I needed a ride. I jumped in and Mary Jane drove me town. We chatted about how nice it is to live in the mountains and she told me how she usually picks up hikers on her way to work. I thanked her as she dropped me off at Denny’s.
After inhaling an omelet, I texted Boomer and I met him over at McDonalds. Soon OB walked in, he got a ride to town too. Looks like most of us are going to take a zero day (zero miles hiked) and head out on Tuesday, hopefully, if I get my tent.
The next stretch is an alternate that follows the Gila River. The river has been pretty high this spring but it is dropping steadily and should be safe for us when we pass through. We’ll cross the river around 200 times, so it’s important that it is low enough.
It looks like pizza delivery for dinner tonight and a good sleep. Tomorrow I’ll pick up a few things at the outfitter here and camp at the RV park here in town. Feels good to relax after this challenging week.
Thanks for reading,