Day 139 – 145 Mexico!
Bit delayed posting as I didn’t have any time pressure (ie, getting back on trail) to keep me honest. And like the rest of humanity I procrastinate when allowed to.
Day 139 – Zero in Silver City
Last zero of the trail! Most town chores were done yesterday so I was just lazing for most of the day. Which was both exciting to do but also rather boring to write about. Not walking is exciting, though! (for me). My accomplishment for the day was applying to a job. Though I did almost all the work in Grants. Here I just logged in and clicked the submit button.
Daylight savings time is stupid. It doesn’t matter for actual hiking since I care about what the sun is doing instead of numbers on my phone. But… since we needed to hit the gear store and PO in the morning, we burned an extra hour of light waiting for them to open.
The trail out of town was another road walk for some time. Before eventually becoming a dirt road and a *very* sandy one at that. Something of a nuisance to hike through. I was feeling grumpy and ended up setting up camp early; will need to make up a few miles over the coming days. The grumpiness was due, I think, to the sand as well as the realization that I’d left my 1 lb block of cheese back in the fridge. Oops.
Early start with six being the new seven. Productive but not especially interesting hiking. Other than one section hiking up a small creek while off trail. We did go over the last major (ish) climb of the cdt. And left the forest for the last time; just desert all the way to the border, now.
Silver city feels like awhile ago even though it was yesterday morning. Lordsburg tomorrow and then three days to the border!
Very windy overnight. Glad I had earplugs though it didn’t help with the wind pushing the side of my tent into me. The sandy ground didn’t hold stakes well which added to the situation as well. Didn’t sleep particularly well as a result.
The flat ish desert hike into Lordsburg gave a preview of what I expect the next few days to be like. As well as a few…. dubious fence ‘gates’.
One of which was just a propped-up section of barbed wire to crawl under.
Lordsburg was an easy resupply town, though not an exciting one. It seems like a smaller version of Rawlins. We ran into True Grits who I haven’t seen since way back in Darby, MT. He was back in town after finishing before heading home.
Harder than expected day. Mostly due to losing the trail a number of times and zig zagging as a result. There was a stretch with no trail to speak of so hiking was post to post. Except that they’re spaced such that you can’t see one from the next. It felt like a mix of hiking and playing where’s Waldo. Many of the signs were single sided and oriented for nobo’s making spotting them rather frustrating at times.
There was a late day storm that caught me by surprise. Mostly wind and lightning. Helpful since my rain jacket was at the bottom of my pack.
Anyhow, wind died down slightly. Camped in a sandy washout. Probably up there with some of the worst campsites this trip.
Last full day tomorrow!
Long day – started a bit after six and walked until a bit after dark. I spent the waning minutes of twilight trying to get to where I wanted to camp, a water cache near the road. The last couple miles of the ‘trail’ had no discernable track and the signs were spaced pretty far. More Where’s Waldo navigation. Did eventually get to the road and stumbled somewhat blindly into the water cache.
The last mile was made more difficult by an occasional stabbing pain in my foot every so often. Despite clearing my shoes a couple times. Ended up walking somewhat gingerly to camp where I discovered a large thorn had embedded itself in the sole of my shoe and gone all the way through it. Eventually managed to remove it and now I’m looking forward to being able to walk normally tomorrow. It’s the simple things.
Windy camp. Also, one with a cute but annoying kangaroo mouse that keeps pestering me and No Chill.
Anyhow, last day of hiking tomorrow!
And… done. The last miles were straightforward enough. By late afternoon we were celebrating and taking pictures at the monument. Later in the evening No Chill showed up and now the five of us are ready to head out when the shuttle driver gets here tomorrow morning.
It’s strange to be done. It doesn’t feel quite real yet. For now, I’m looking forward to waking up and not having to walk. It’s the simple things.
The Days After
The following morning, we lazily got ready in the morning. Not having anywhere to go. Plus it was cold, so we didn’t start breaking camp until our shuttle driver, Tim, showed up. Much earlier than expected but we were happy to head out.
Spent the afternoon with the others in my hotel room prior to their late afternoon train. Saw them off at the train station and had a quiet evening in a hotel room. Being done started to seem more real at that point. Just needed to wait for my train the following day.
Anyhow, in Austin visiting a friend for a few days prior to heading back to Portland. I will say walking around downtown in an unfamiliar major city after being on trail for months was quite the culture shock. I felt a bit like Crocodile Dundee in New York.
Well, that’s a wrap. If you’ve gotten this far thank you for reading my trail blog and I hope that you’ve enjoyed it.
I will plug Bonnie Brae one last time as I did up front. It’s a charity which provides educational and therapeutic services to underserved youth in New Jersey; If you’d like to learn more about it their website is here: https://www.bonnie-brae.org/ If you’d like to donate, that’s awesome. Either use that link or the handy tip button which (should) also direct you there.
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