Leaving Lordsburg Days 5-7
Leaving lordsburg day 5. May 6th 2023
I ended up camping right around the 100 mile mark. One map said it was the 99 mile the other one said it was just over 100. Who cares. I did get to experience the joy that comes from getting drinking water out of a puddle filled with flies and dead creatures. And also I would find out later that there was a dead skunk just hours earlier. It happened because the guy who drives the shuttle for the CDT told me that the well was operational. The Far Out guide (an app for thru hikers) comments said otherwise but I trusted a guy who probably got his information from an old Facebook post. That’s on me. I planned on leaving Lordsburg with 5 liters of water and camping after 10 mi. But when he told me that I said cool I’ll do 15 miles and go to the well. And I only took about 2 and 1/2 liters of water. That was just enough to get me to the well but when I arrived it was terrible. I met a nice German lady named Trixie, otherwise it wasn’t a great experience. I survived just fine I guess so he kept me on a good pace.
My time in Lordsburg mostly productive. I did a shakedown on some gear which allowed me to mail some stuff home and forward on. The Lordsburg museum, which says they’re open on Saturdays from 10:00 to 5:00 but when I arrived at 11:00 they wasn’t open, was a failure but I guess it’s not tourist season. So I went to McDonald’s and hung out there for a couple hours. For the non through hikers one trick is to buy some food and carry it out with you from whatever restaurant you ate at. So I took out a double quarter pounder with cheese and no onions. It tasted pretty good. Cowboy camping for the second night.
Day six May 7th
Easily my favorite day of hiking so far. Lots of elevation, incredible views, some shady water sources, a whole lot fewer cows and some pine trees. It takes me a while to get going in the morning. My feet are always swollen I have to squeeze my feet into my shoes. But once I get rolling and maybe take a couple Motrin I feel pretty good most of the day. I expected I’d be able to nap after lunch but that hasn’t happened.
I’ve made lunch my big meal of the day, which we call supper where I’m from. I’ll boil up some water and make a freeze-dried meal. Today was a vegetarian shepherd’s pie and it wasn’t good. I also ate a tube of Pringles and a half bag of Fritos. Normally if I ate half of that I’d feel horrible but I feel just fine. Maybe it’s the 13 hours of exercise or the 10 plus hours of sunlight.
My favorite thing to eat on the trail so far has been an almond nut butter mixed with chocolate and coffee. Caffeinated and tastes like a mix of peanut butter and Nutella. It’s a great snack or dessert or whatever.
I put up my tent for the first time in a few days. I want to see if I’ll sleep better with darkness and not all the moonlight.
It’s slightly deeper thought is one thing I’ve noticed that’s very different from this versus a deployment where I’m away from my family, it’s that I’m a lot more emotional than I remember being at the beginning of deployments.
It could be the timing with all the stuff going on in my life or just the sheer fact that I don’t have much else to do besides think about life. In general walking isn’t a mentally tasking task. Yeah there are plenty of times where I’m thinking about how much further to go before I get some more water or how much further until I take a break or boy that cliff looks really steep.
Many times it’s just you putting one foot in front of the other and so my mind goes like probably everybody else’s into places you generally don’t go in your day-to-day life.
I enjoy doing it and it’s actually one of the reasons I rarely put my earbuds in while I’m hiking. To each their own but to me the silence and quiet is what I’m out here for. But I also miss my wife and kids and dogs an awful lot. Well I don’t really miss Harry. But the emotions aren’t sadness or loneliness, it’s kind of the opposite. Gratitude and pride. If I was a better writer I’d do a better job of laying out how I’m feeling and maybe I’ll try again later.
Day 7 May 8th
I cheated today. And probably won’t be the last time. There’s a 13 mi road walk where the trail ends or turns into less of a trail and turns into walking along a two lane highway. I wasn’t feeling that. It’s a 13 Mile walk on the highway and I knew I wasn’t going to make it today and I didn’t feel like camping in a ditch. And thanks to modern technology I went ahead and Ubered into town. Feel free to cancel your subscription to my astonishing blog.
I tried to hitchhike for about 5 minutes but after the fourth car passed I said let’s just Uber. I can’t imagine Uber drivers in Silver City, New Mexico making a lot of money so I was happy to throw a little his way for a nice air conditioned ride into my downtown hotel. Be prepared this will likely happen again. If there are more long walks along highways with no shoulder and no shade and the option to take an Uber I’m going to take it. Let me know where I should mail my CDT bandana.
Silver City is a very artsy town and I went and grabbed beers and a bunch of food at a local brew pub. Well worth it. I got to meet a few hikers hanging out there and told him my story; they didn’t disown me for taking an Uber but one guy was from Minnesota and gave me a weird look when I said I live in Edina and they mentioned the possibility of me getting the trail name of Daddy Warbucks. TBD.
A couple of the local patrons told me their life story. Which reminded me why I don’t usually go to bars without my wife. I should actually get a t-shirt that says ‘I don’t want to hear your life story, do you know any interesting stories?’ That would be rude.
I don’t want to get too deep but one lady told me about her reliance on cannabis and CBD oils just to make it through the day and offered me some sound advice on the multitude of cannabis related products available. I’m still considering my options.
The next guy told me a story about how he had a baby when he was 13 years old but his family told him he could no longer be with his girlfriend at the time but sometime later that same girl reached back out to him when he was at a bad point in his life and she saved him. Then they both began to drink too much after they got back together and ended up in rehab separately. But now things were going good and he was able to pay his bills and has amassed a savings of 13,000. No I didn’t ask any probing questions he just felt like he could share with me.
So maybe I wouldn’t be so antisocial if every time I went out I met people like this who felt the need to tell me these kinds of things when all I really wanted to do was have some tacos, drink a couple beers and watch the Knicks lose.
All in all it was a good couple of days. Frankly, the trail from the border to Lordsburg is pretty boring. Sort of a test of mental will more than anything else. It’s hot, it’s dusty, The water carries are somewhat long. Well and the 15 or so miles north of Lordsburg really suck, because there’s no water and some of it’s highway and imagine the loneliest desert in that’s basically it.
But once you get to this place called cow camp it gets really nice. There are quite a few more steep climbs to endure but there’s a bit more water, there’s more shade and it feels a bit more like hiking.
I spent about a half the day hiking with a guy named Out there (trail name). He’s from Tulsa and a cancer survivor. I thought he looked a bit younger than he was but he’s shooting to complete the triple crown next year. Last year he hiked from the Florida keys to Quebec. So he’s legit.
He gave me some pointers on planning the next leg of the adventure. And somehow didn’t feel the need to tell me his entire life story. A good dude. The last 5ish miles together we probably said 10 words. My kind of guy.
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