Day 129 – 138 The cold roads.

Relatively few pictures for this section.  Lots of road walking which was fast but not especially interesting. 

Day 129

Slept really poorly due to nausea but felt ok in the morning. I had assumed it was the pizza we had last night. Hana also felt nauseous today so it’s a plausible theory, at least.

This resupply is brought to you by little debbie.

Relaxed start to the day. Brock had a virtual appointment so there was no rush to leave. As a result we started at 11:30 ish while having to hike 25 ish miles. Fast miles, granted, on a flat road.

Very nice, new(ish), and for some reason, permanently closed ranger station. It had water at least?

Not the most interesting hiking but having it just be easy was welcome.

Scenic cliff. Also a herd of cows that I inadvertently shepherded along for a mile or two.

Day 130

Lots of road walking today. Admittedly, it didn’t make for an interesting day, but it was productive in terms of mileage.

Morning view of La Venta arch.

I did severely hamper my filter. Arrived at a solar well with no flow and a muddy cow tank. I found the switch to turn the pump on… after I had bit the bullet and filtered a liter. Ended up dumping that water, getting fresh water, and backflushing the filter. Improved the flow some but I definitely did lasting damage, whoops.

How to degrade a filter in one use.

Getting to Pie Town tomorrow. Current plan is to pick up our boxes, pack, and perhaps eat lunch before taking off. There’s a ranch past pie town that is supposed to be nice. It’ll make for a longer day to get there, though.

The road goes ever on and on my friends back to…. Pie Town?

Day 131

Camped at a ranch that had a hiker area and water and lots of signs re: don’t go anywhere near the house. It was a nice enough place but made me feel welcome and unwelcome at the same time.

The pies of pie town.

Quick march into town to meet up with Pierre and off to the Pie-o-neer. Great pie!

Toaster house is well named. It seems.


Modeling the rain mitts Quickdraw made for me.

Decided to stay at the toaster house, a well known hiker hostel in town. Cute place, just an old house open to hikers. Kinda feel like we are squatting without a caretaker.

The cats of Toaster house.

Day 132

Said goodbye to Toaster house and the various cats who hang about outside and hit the road. Literally. This section has a lot of road walking. Pretty fast hiking at least.

Though I did miss a turn and hike an extra 1-1.5 miles, doh. The notable event for the evening was the rudest hunters I’ve seen on the trail thus far. When they drove around the corner one of them said something to the effect of another of those fucking guys. And that they’re never going to find any deer now. Which is probably true; I heard their ATVs from probably close to a mile away. The deer probably could, too. Anyhow, when they passed by us setting up camp they yelled some parting swears and drove off.

Day 133

Somehow tweaked my knee yesterday such that it hurts only when I’m in camp. I’d hoped that itd recover overnight but no dice. It seems to be fine when I’m actually hiking, though. Which is welcome but confusing. It needs to hold together for another 270 miles. Much less by the time anyone is actually reading this.

Today was quite cold. One of the coldest nights so far. We’re all starting to look forward to the end of the trail. A few days to cross the Gila which is the last scenic bit. Then Silver City which is supposed to be a cool town. Followed by the bootheel. Which should be quick since it’s fairly flat and I’m sure we’ll get motivation from the end being in sight, too.

The silliest picture of me on trail. Though I’m very glad I picked up that down hood.

Day 134

Started the Gila alternate today. Though the actual hiking was on various forest roads. Camped at the head of the creek that eventually becomes the Gila but is currently a large cow pond.

The Gila is a section of river canyon where the trail crosses the river numerous times. It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow, but still a cool temp for all day wet feet. Brought neoprene socks for this; I’ll find out early tomorrow whether they help.

Day 135

Last night was very cold. Probably among the coldest that I’ve spent in a tent. Didn’t sleep very well due to the cold and, also, a number of coyotes and wolves singing the song of their peoples in the middle of the night. As it I hiked past a sign today talking about the reintroduction of Mexican wolves to the area. Promising sign. I suppose, sleep notwithstanding.

Sometimes there’s a barbed wire fence right across the trail.

As I had planned, hiked the first section of the Gila low route before bailing up to the more direct, and dryer, high route. The neoprene socks were awesome for the water crossings. And aside from some navigation challenges in the valley it was easier hiking than anticipated. That said, with my knee still being iffy staying on task with the shorter, easier route.

One of many crossings due to a sudden cliff in the valley.

Doc Campbell’s tomorrow! Which I’m curious to see. As well as hopefully getting into a hot spring.

Day 136

At risk of being repetitive: last night, also very cold. Despite being slightly lower and with some tree cover that I didn’t have the prior night. Clearly, I’m at the lower temperature end of what my sleep system will tolerate. Woke up at midnight and was too cold to go back to sleep. Eventually, I ate an emergency king-size fast break bar and then eventually fell asleep and ‘slept in’ to 730, which was a surprise. Lesson learned. I’ll have easily accessible candy bars for sleeping. Easier source of high fat food than slicing into a block of cheese in the middle of the night.

Goodbye, Gila.

Ran into a gaggle of hikers on the last stretch going to doc Campbell’s. None of them with packs as someone had a friend drop their packs off at Doc’s. They walked up just as I was getting out of the trailhead. It was rather jarring after not seeing anyone for a day and a half.

Cool and rather eclectic store.

Staying at a campground with a very nice hot spring. And a one group of cdt hiker limit per night. Evidently, there was some past drama there. First time going to a hot spring on trail, though, it was a nice luxury.

Day 137

Last minute change this morning to take an alternate around the lower Gila canyon. The rationale being that it was quite cold and noone was looking forward to numerous river fords. Instead we walked along a fairly scenic low traffic road for the entire day. There was a fair amount of smoke at points; which did make me glad that I wasn’t down in the valley.

The trail not taken. Mostly because of the below freezing water crossings.

Ran into the other trail family along the road, too, so at times there were quite a few of us ambling down the road.

Silver city tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time as it’s supposed to be a cool town. I always look forward to town for food and less walking, but I’m especially looking forward to Silver City.

Day 138

First night in awhile that wasn’t freezing cold.  Supposedly an overnight low of 40 instead of… 10.

More road walking into Silver city.  First in a pine forest which was nice.  Then slight trespassing in an rv park bathroom looking for water.  Then a highway walk into Silver city which was less fun. 

But, I’m here now, in our Airbnb.  With most of my town chores done and a (the last!) zero tomorrow.   And I bought my train ticket out of Lordsburg.  So close to the end!

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