Monument to Lordsburg

Rise and Shine
The alarm clock sounds at 5 AM, and we have one hour and 15 minutes to get ready pack our bags and get to the CDTC shuttle. When I went to bed the night before I realized that my Garmin Inreach was not working well with my new American phone number. (I got the Garmin in reach messenger so that I can be easily found by friends and family along the trail. It is nice to have the SOS option if something were to go wrong as well.)
After almost packing my bag, I attempted several times to disconnect and reconnect my cell phone to the Garmin in reach. When we were leaving in the morning, another hiker who had already done the first section told me that she had a similar problem with her inreach as well. By the time we got to the shuttle, I had finally figured out how to get my device connected, but we were the last ones there. They gave us each a tag with a number on it: 285. That means that by the time you’re reading this, more than 300 hikers (either thru- or section hikers) have started the CDT this year.

Outside, everyone was asked to take their poles and any breakable items out of their backpacks and put those under the seat in the second truck. Our backpacks all went in the back of the first truck and were covered with a tarp. There were 10 hikers going to the border that morning. They all seemed friendly, but very quiet. Trouble was the loudest. Sometimes I think that she has main character syndrome (haha), but most people seemed to be ok with it. It was in the truck when I decided that I’d like to stop telling people that we’re related, and see if they could figure it out on their own.
The shuttle stopped at a small store in Hachita. Where we could go in to use the washroom or buy something if needed, and continue on. I had a big bag of clementines that I was trying to eat before we started hiking, so I was sharing them with the others in our shuttle. Once we left Hachita, we went to one of the water cashes and had a talk from the shuttle drivers about using them and not being an asshole. My favourite thing that was said during this was, “don’t piss in what could become shade for someone else later in the day”. I think this can be taken as some pretty good general life advice for all… Thanks Tim! Another thing that was mentioned was if we were to see anyone out there who needed help, (no matter what country they’re from) to press our SOS button or wait for help if we don’t have one.

When we got to the Crazy Cook monument, I still had a lot of organizing my bag to do. We took a group photo and I started doing that. After taking about 1000 pictures, we were the last to leave. I left the monument with 4.7 L of water, which I can see now is way overkill. (I was really nervous to not have enough.) My bag was uncomfortably heavy, and my sun umbrella was blowing in the wind so bad that it was digging into my shoulder. …Here we go! We ended up walking for not long until we got to a dirt road and someone had left extra water there. I drank 700 ML and refilled.

The Elements
Not long after that water stop, we took a break on the path. There was no shade so we just laid on the ground on our mats with our umbrellas. Before we left I’d slathered myself with sunscreen really good, but after about 10 minutes of laying down during a break, I noticed that the inside of my legs had a small area of burn. This is when I decided to switch to pants less than halfway through day one. I was really surprised at how windy it was, and would later find out that the wind and the desert is normal in spring. Apparently the wind that we experienced that week was likely the last “hurrah” before summer. The wind felt good during the day, and brought some relief to the heat. At night time, the wind was a completely different beast.
The thing about setting up a new trekking pole tent for the second time ever in the wind, is that it can be complicated if you don’t entirely know what you’re doing. And that’s what happened on the first night. On the first day, we hadn’t seen anybody for the entire day of hiking until I was trying to set up the tent. I was too focused on setting up the tent to say much more than a “Hi!”. The first tent set up was janky AF, but would get better each night that it was set up on the trail. I really can’t believe that it didn’t fall over on us that first night. The bad news is that I’m a little afraid of the animal noises at night. Fortunately, when Trouble sleeps she sometimes makes noises that I think could be mistaken for a Javelina (desert pig that I have not yet seen before but am very excited to).

Trail Name
We wouldn’t see another human until the afternoon on day three. We walked up to this big water tank with a hose and we’re planning on taking a break up there in the shade, and when we got to the top of the hill, there were four other hikers doing the same thing. It was really nice to see other humans again! There was: Skeeter, Skip, Happy Six, and D20. We talked to the others for a bit, and I was given the trail name “TBD” from Skip. He said that it could stand for whatever I wanted it to, like “To Be Determined”, but he was thinking it should stand for, “The Best Daughter”. I told him that I’d think about it. The next morning when we ran into a couple of other hikers (Tuba and Ryan) and I was asked my name, I told them it was TBD. I have since also come up with “Tacos , Burritos, Drinks”.
It took us a total of four days to get back to Lordsburg from the Mexican border, which apparently is average. I don’t have any injuries to my feet or body and I’m feeling great. It is a little bit discouraging to see how fast some others have been hiking with a lot of breaks, when we have been taking minimal breaks and hiking all day to get to the same point.

We ended up camping really close to Lordsburg on the last night so that we could walk into town first thing in the morning. We arrived into Lordsburg at 8:45 am, about 15 minutes before the only restaurant would open. We waited outside the restaurant with our backpacks, and when they opened the doors to let us in, the waitress there was really friendly and told us that we could sit at the booth right beside the wall plug. Obviously, she had met a few hikers before to know what was important to us.

This first stretch of trail was hot, but not as hot as I expected. It was windy, which I didn’t expect at all, but it was nowhere near as extreme as I thought. The most difficult part of the trail so far has been missing home.

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