Silver City to Doc Campbell’s Post

Town Day
After waking up on the side of the highway with Trouble and Skeeter, I quickly packed up and started walking towards the town. When we were walking down the hill towards Silver City, our bags were so light, it felt like we were floating!
Road walk into Silver City, NM
In the town, we went to a little coffee shop, and found a breakfast restaurant nearby. Inside the restaurant we got some unexpected trail magic. The waitress told us that someone had taken care of our bill. A stranger had seen that we were hikers and paid for our breakfast! We ended up meeting the person who paid for our breakfast outside, and thanked them.
There was an outdoor market happening across the street from the restaurant, so we went to walk around and check that out for a little bit. The post office was next because it was only open for two hours that day! Inside the post office, a couple hikers were there and they raced each other to be the first one to lend me their knife.
Pro Tip: If you are hiking with others, someone else usually has a knife that they are very proud of. (I don’t carry one).
Luckily, the hotel allowed us to check in early, and had free laundry. We shared a room with two other hikers (Skeeter and Skip). It turns out that many of the hikers ended up in the same hotel!
All my Silver City dreams coming true!
Later that evening, we met up with Tim (one of the CDTC shuttle drivers) for drinks. We met another hiker named “Shotput” who was really friendly. She was staying with some local Trail Angels in Silver City for a couple nights to heal her foot before going into the Gila River. I found out that night that one of the hikers accepted the name that I gave him “Kanga” (after his huge fanny pack that he carries!). That night everyone was in bed by 9pm since walking all the time is exhausting!

The next day I took shower #2 before checking out of the hotel. We walked downtown to the Co-op, where I ate an entire pint of dairy free cookie dough ice cream! We had some lunch as well and packed our burritos for later. When we were outside of the co-op on the bench, we met another hiker named “Sketchy”, who had previously hiked the CDT. She was just finishing another nearby trail and was looking for somewhere to stay for the night, and some info about getting to the airport. We ended up directing her towards the Trail Angel’s place that Shotput was staying at because we thought they might get along well (we later found out that this worked out well).
Trouble, Sketchy, and Littlebird
Leaving Town
At around 2:30pm, we hiked out of town (Trouble, Little Bird and I). On the road out of town we met another Trail Angel named Wylie who lives in Silver City. She pulled over at the side of the road and brought snacks and beer out of a cooler that she said that she carries in her car in case she sees hikers. She even offered to get lawn chairs out of her car if we wanted to sit! She also offered us a place to stay and shower if we wanted, but knew that we were on our way out of town so understood that we wanted to keep hiking. Wylie told us that she also participates in a group that takes supplies down to Mexican refugees in need along the border. This conversation was a breath of fresh air, and a stark contrast to some of the comments that were being said by some of the hikers referring to these people as “illegal aliens”.
TBD (me!), Wylie (Trail Angel), and Littlebird
Not too far up the trail, Littlebird, Trouble, and I were all in agreeance that Wylie was doing was really nice, and that we are privileged to be from places that we don’t feel the need to flee from. We arrived after dark to our camp spot about 12 miles out of town at the first water crossing.

Some Thoughts
In the morning ran into a couple of other hikers that were camped nearby. As the terrain changes, every cactus we pass, I wonder if it’s going to be the last cactus.
Could this be the last cactus?
-It’s crazy that we are only about 10 days in, and before starting I was worried about my previously sprained ankle… now I can tell that it is totally fine!
My wet feet thriving on the trail
-Sometimes the main thing moving you forward is knowing that there’s gonna be another town in X amount of days and that there’s only X amount of miles to get there.
Sometimes dreaming about what the next town will hold…
-It’s very weird that you can be in the most remote and wildest seeming places in the US and you’re walking along a small trail, and all of a sudden there’s another barbed wire fence.
-The hot, dry, flat desert has noticeably changed into a hot, shaded, less dry forest with more elevation gain and loss. Water caches, cow wells and scarce little streams have been replaced by frequent water crossings.
Enjoying the big trees
At the end of the first full day from Silver City to Doc Campbells, we have already crossed the river about 5x before finding a makeshift camping spot. I am feeling a little bit better knowing that the first few water crossings are supposed to be the most difficult!
A frosty camping spot

Rise N’ Shine
In the morning, my shoes were frozen solid. There was frost on our backpacks and our sleeping bags. It was extremely difficult to want to get out of the sleeping bag to change at all. I had to count to three before moving. I wore my sandals until getting to the first water crossing so that I could dethaw my shoes in the water before putting them on. After doing quite a few crossings, we saw another hiker “Batona” who ended up joining us for a while. It was sometimes pretty confusing to follow the trail and understand where you were supposed to bushwhack, and where you were supposed to cross the river. As long as we keep following the river up, we should be fine. We stopped for breakfast and Batona stuck around for a bit and even offered us a pack of this really good instant coffee… Instant friends.
Trouble crossing the Gila River

After leaving the breakfast spot, we had a crossing to do that was right beside us the whole time. Once we were both in the water, Trouble lost her balance and fell into the river. In the rushing water, I ran towards her and offered my trekking pole, but she was too far to reach. She then missed the side of the river that she was grabbing for, and was taken further down. Finally she was able to reach some roots at the side and held on to that. Miraculously, (while running in the river) I didn’t fall in after her, and was able to climb up an easy side to go help.
Trouble before she fell into the Gila River

The Damage
Overall, she was taken about 20-30 feet down the river. We lost: 2 trekking poles, a 1L water bottle, and our make-shift tyvek tent footprint. We also noticed that Trouble’s phone got wet. Other than some minor scratches, we were good to go. …At least 30 more crossings left to go with one set of poles between us. I opted to cross them with no poles because I felt that the poles were actually the things throwing me off balance. During our river crossing day we also ran into Little Bird, Kanga, and Tuba. We ended up at the lots of same crossings together in the afternoon. After talking to them, we found out that the place we would be heading to for the night had some very specific hours. After learning this, we spent the rest of the day rushing towards Doc Campbell’s Post.

Doc Campbell’s Post
When we finally made it to Doc Campbell’s, there were (thankfully!) multiple people there after hours to help us. We were able to get our resupply boxes, and buy things in the store. It felt like the best day ever!
Doc Campbell’s Post

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