Magic on Magic
After some rest in Lordsburg we began to move north again. The first bit out of town was a road walk. These are never the most fun but we must get used to them. Much to our pleasant surprise around mile 100 the terrain began to change. We began to walk out of the desert floor and began to see trees!
We had lunch at the water source that was a little past the 100 mile marker, grabbed water to dry camp, and proceeded to hike the afternoon through a beautiful pine forest. I hiked alone most of the afternoon and enjoyed the sounds and smells the forest provided.
The next day was Easter and we knew Blackbird was meeting us at the trailhead with trail magic! We all booked it down to the trailhead where we were met with mimosas, fruit, muffins, and an Easter egg hunt. We all spent a few hours hanging out there enjoying the sunshine and drinks before cleaning up and hiking out from our Easter Brunch. Blackbird decided to join us for the next section so as a group of 8 we began the climb up to 8,000 feet. As we ascended we climbed into a ponderosa pine forest. As we neared the top of the mountain there was a flat area with a bunch of old foundations. We sat there taking a break and we met some locals who told us that the foundations were an old observatory. When we finished our break we continued the 0.8 miles to the actual peak which was a little anti-climatic so we hiked down for a lunch break. Where we stopped for lunch is where the old CDT went down a canyon to a road and the new CDT continued over the ridge. Here our group split with half taking the old route and half the new. I continued along the new CDT with Krafty, Stats, and Blackbird. We hiked through the afternoon until camping near a dirt road.
The next day provided cool temps and great views along the ridge line. The day was pretty average until about 16:00. As we were hiking down a dirt road, having avoided “death corner,” a turn missed by some hikers that leads 8 miles to a dead end, we saw someone coming toward us. As we got closer we realized it was our friend Beacon. He figured we would be in that area and came to meet us to bring Blackbird back to her car. He hiked with us through an amazing canyon till we ended at his car. Here he took Blackbird back to her car and the rest of us continued hiking down the dirt road. Normally I’m not a fan of road walking but this road was lined with amazing rock formations. We spent the afternoon dreaming of climbing routes on all the rock faces – we even found some old bolts. As we neared the end of the road we realized it was still pretty early so we hiked all the way to the paved highway that we would have to walk the next day into Silver City. There was no camping at the junction so we had Beacon drive us back up the dirt road to find camping. Later that evening Blackbird joined us brining hummus, salad, and avocados! I know most thru hikers dream of burgers and fries on trail but I dream of fresh food so this was a Godsend! As we were eating it started to rain so I retreated to my tent. A few minutes later there was a voice outside my tent saying, “Yard Sale, it’s neither shaken nor stirred” as Blackbird handed me a margarita through my vestibule! I’m not sure she could be any more of an angel!
I went to bed full and happy and ready to tackle the thirteen mile road walk into town! The next morning Beacon drove us to the road and we picked up where we left off trail and we began our walk into town. About 9:00 Blackbird stopped by and gave us some road beers. We gladly accepted and enjoyed our beers before heading all the way into town. Once there, our first priority was food! We had an amazing lunch at a local cafe! I didn’t need to resupply so while everyone else made trips to Walmart I sat in a coffee shop and enjoyed a latte. It’s always nice to take some time to do something on trail that’s so regular in your life at home. Around 16:00, once everyone else was ready we began our road walk out of town to camp at the junction with the Gila river alternate.
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