Doc Campbells to (Almost) Pie Town New Mexico

We slept at a family-owned campground across from Doc Campbells Post (a popular choice amongst hikers because of its convenient location). When we went to find a tent spot, we were told that we could set up anywhere at the far end of the campground. All of the spots seemed to be hard gravel RV spots that were ideal for a vehicle… Thankfully, there was a really friendly older hiker who had his tent set up on a patch of green grass who said that he didn’t mind if we camped close to him. Once we were all set up, we learned about the sprinklers…

The Next Morning…
This morning we had to wake up at 5:30am so that the tent didn’t get rained on by the automatic sprinkler that turns on at 6:00am. We learned this after setting up the tent last night and couldn’t be bothered to take it down and move it. Instead, we set the alarm and about 10 minutes after we took the tent down, just as promised: the sprinkler pissed down rain at where our tent used to be. It was satisfying. I’m glad we moved!

Back To Nature
After organizing our food, we still had tons of extra meals. I let Batona go through my extra meals and take what he wanted. (We found out that his trail name means “BAck TO NAture” and that we can call him Batoto when he is on his way to town lol). Across the street from the campground, we went to Doc Campbells for warm showers, more electricity, vegan pizza!!, coffee, and laundry. It was great! We ran into Shotput (a hiker that we met in Silver City). It is sometimes difficult to recognize people after they’ve had a shower haha. After a little bit of map planning, and a lot of lounging, we headed out of “town” (Doc Campbells) at about 2:30pm. Fortunately, we ran into Little Bird again out on the trail, but unfortunately we heard that one of our trail friends has to take some extra time off for an injury. We are hoping that they get better!

Not Dead Yet
Day 15 in the morning, we ran into Shotput, Eli and Batona. It turns out that Shotput works in the same type of job and lives pretty close to me on the other side of the border. She is extremely friendly and outgoing and is going for her triple crown just like Trouble. We walked with them and Littlebird up until around breakfast time. We walked beside a stream in the canyon for quite some time. I told Trouble to go ahead and start walking and I would catch up. Little did I know that there was this scary AF cow that looked like he wanted to murder me right on the trail! I’m lucky to be alive still lol.

Screensaver Land and New Hikers
After a steep climb, we made it up to this area that looks like it could be a Microsoft desktop screensaver. It went on for miles. We later ended up sleeping in a cow field not far from Littlebird. Luckily there were no murderous cows there!

Today was a lot of road walking, and then walking through previously burnt areas. We met two new hikers (Swiss Cake and Saint) who seemed to he friendly! We ended up taking the alternate and sleeping in the Govina Canyon. There was only one scary horned cow down there. While in the canyon when we were almost at our camp spot, we met a few section hikers whose first words were “Did you cheat??” They wanted to know if we walked on the path or the road…
I was mildly triggered.

Passing Up Reserve, NM
In the morning, it was cold, but not as cold as the morning before. We didn’t leave until about 7:00am. We saw 5 other hikers who were going to get a ride into Reserve New Mexico today for a break, but we were continuing on. It was sad watching the other hikers get into the car to Reserve when we weren’t going into town! Littlebird was going into Reserve with them, and was nice enough to take our garbage for us! We passed by some section hikers that we had seen the day before, and one of them gave us some information about the upcoming towns.
Today was gonna be a sketchy day for water with some apparently really gross sources, so I was planning on carrying a ton of water all day from the nice stream. Thankfully, when we got up to where the highway crosses the trail, someone left three gallons of water.. Thank you!
I tried to have some cold soak quinoa salad mixed with this cold soak coleslaw, but this was the first meal that I couldn’t eat. It just tasted weird and made my cold soak jar smell funny. Trouble ended up sharing her rice meal with me, because she hasn’t been eating as much. The last two meals I had a ton (two dinners the night before, and two oatmeal’s in the morning). We had packed out a ton of food from our resupply at Doc Campbells, and it was nice to have a lighter bag now!

I brought these corded Apple headphones with me on the trail so that I could listen to music occasionally. During this section we had a big up and I decided to listen to some music. At the top of the up, we stopped for a break to eat some lunch. I set my headphones down with my stuff and about 5-10 miles later I realized that I couldn’t find them in my bag. I was feeling terrible for leaving them on the trail for someone else to find. I was also secretly hoping that someone who hikes really fast would find them, catch up to me in Pietown and ask me if they were mine. Today (a day and a half later) on break, I took my shoes and socks off. When I went to put them back on, I noticed this little white thing sticking out from under my left insole. I lifted the insole up, and lo and behold: headphones, completely smunched. I still don’t know what’s worse: littering my perfect headphones, or crushing them!

Night Hiking
We put ourselves on a little bit of a crunch to get to the Davila Ranch and then Pie Town post office in time for the morning. This meant that this evening we needed to hike a little later to get a bit further. We sat down at around 7:00pm to eat dinner before continuing. While we were rehydrating food, we met Big Spoon and Slay. I recognized Big Spoon’s name from the water comments that he was leaving on Far Out ahead of me! Apparently he needed to stop for a while due to an injury and Slay was ahead and came back to re-hike this section with him. (She actually came back to re-hike an entire section of trail… again!) They were both really friendly and gave us each a sticker! When we were eating, we saw this man drive-by on a four wheeler. I was a little bit nervous that he was going to give us shit for being on his land, but instead he asked us if we had enough water! It’s really weird being out in the middle of nowhere where the only people that you are really used to seeing are CDT hikers. We ended up hiking a few more miles after dinner, and finding a nice spot headed up towards Magnus Mountain.

Shower Day
This morning was shower day and we ended up leaving our campsite by 6:00am so that we would have enough time to do the fourteen miles to Davila Ranch by the afternoon. As we were leaving our camp spot, I had a chocolate macadamia Cliff bar (one of the few snacks I had left in my bag).
…The thing about the white chocolate macadamia nut Cliff bar, is that it’s the best one- except it’s not as good as the Lemon Luna bar. I obviously ate these things in the wrong order. First rule of hiking: save your lemon Luna bar for last!
We hiked up Magnus mountain, and down-hiked quite a few miles on this really rocky road that was difficult to step on. Thankfully after a few miles, the road turned into a more flat dirt surface all the way to Davila Ranch.

Davila Ranch
It was about 1:00pm and we were about 3 miles away from the Davila Ranch (where we would get to shower)! We noticed two elderly hikers that started walking in the same direction as us at a crossroad. We said hi to them and they didn’t talk too too much. We asked them if they were going to Davila Ranch, and they told us that they were going to Pie Town (about 17 miles away… and it was already 1:00pm). Trouble asked them if they had enough water. They told us that they had enough water to drink, but not to cook with, and then continued quickly on their path.
We arrived at Davila Ranch at around 2:00pm, and there were already a few hikers there. I asked one of them when they had arrived (thinking that they were just ahead of us on the trail), and he made a joke about living there and said he had been there for two days already! Shortly after, we had both finished showering and were well on our way getting laundry done. The Davila Ranch owner John arrived and told us that he had just picked up two hikers on the road who were completely out of food and water. It was that elderly couple we had met earlier! They ended up coming to Davila Ranch to stay for the night, take showers, and do laundry. I told John that we had asked if they had enough water earlier. He told us, “I don’t ask anymore, I tell them”. Then he explained that him and his daughter would pick up hikers on the road who had run out of food and water almost on a daily basis, which is why they created Davila Ranch as a safe place for hikers to get food, water, and shelter.
We ended up staying at Davila Ranch until about 6:00pm, then headed out to get closer to Pie Town so that we can make it on time for the post office in the morning!

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