Lordsburg to Lordsburg: Trying Trail Trials

Trail Update

It’s been quite some time since my last post, and at this time I’m in a state in which I can report my experiences. Currently, I am at Pie Town NM taking it easy while the snow north of us continues to melt. More to come very soon!

(Technical difficulties are precluding me from adding photos. I’ll add some as soon as I can get to a library and a working computer!)

Time Trials

Having made it to Lordsburg, safe and sound, I started to prep for my first day on trail. I set my alarm for 5 AM, shopped for food, double and triple checked all my lists and gear, then tucked in for a good night’s sleep.

Beep beep beep. As scheduled, my alarm sounded at 5 AM, I jumped out of bed and began putting on clothes and slowly packing up the room, taking my time to feel settled and certain about my departure. After about 15 minutes, I strapped my watch to my wrist and panicked as I glanced at the time on my watch: 615 AM. Trying to keep calm, I reminded myself that my phone was connected to the wifi and likely told the right time. For good measure, I turned on my GPS to check the time, and my stomach dropped. I was 15 minutes late for the shuttle!

I stuffed everything into my backpack with no regard for weight, placement, or packability, and ran out the door. In my mind, there’s nothing that could have made me feel less prepared than that. Almost falling down the stairs, I made it to the road and ran to our meeting spot. Much to my good luck, the shuttle was still there, and hikers were just packing their bags in the bed of the truck as I arrived. I hadn’t missed my shuttle, and I had everything I needed to set off.

Desert Trials

As much as I would love to say that the rest of the day, and days following, went off without a hitch, I sadly cannot. My pack was heavy, my shoes were wrong, and the desert was unforgiving.

Knowing my bad luck, I had started my trek with 8L of water. In my mind, the water cache at mile 15 was likely empty, so I planned for the worst. Little did I know, the shuttle drivers and trail angels replenish the caches daily. With an extra, 17lbs on my back, and the desert dust making its way into my shoes, I found my feet starting to swell and ache within the first 10 miles of the hike. Not a good sign. To boot, I had underestimated just how brutal the flat desert walk would be. The cloudless sky, in cahoots with the white sand, brought a relentless heat previously unknown to me. As I gazed into the vast, endless desert plains, I realized there was no shade for respite in sight, and that I had sorely misjudged the challenge the desert posed.


By the third day I had learned two crucial lessons, the hard way: my shoes were too small, and siestas were necessary.

As the miles passed, my feet blistered, swelled, and all but failed. I had blisters on both little toes, both big toes, and one odd blister manifesting underneath a toenail. By the placement of the blisters it became painfully obvious that the toe box of my beloved Hoka Speedgoats were too small to accommodate my swollen feet, and that I needed new shoes fast.

Meanwhile, something stupid inside me decided that I needed to push to a “good camping” spot around mile 35 on day 2. I hiked through the day to get a total of about 20 miles, and became dangerously close to harming myself through heat exhaustion. By 4 PM, I had hiked 17 miles and the sun had gotten the best of me. It took me 2.5 hours to hike the last three miles as I stopped to crouch under bushes at every chance I got. With the help of a fellow hiker, I managed to pitch my tent by about 6 PM and I collapsed into it. Only then did I realize that I was flushed, dizzy, dehydrated, and blistered. Consequently, I resolved to hike the rest of the desert between the hours of 4 PM and 11 AM.

On day 3 I had met another hiker moving southbound, Meta, who had given me some lovely advice to stop in Hachita for a small break. Much to my liking yet unbeknownst to me, Meta had contacted the area trail angel, Radar, and told him that I would be needing a ride into Hachita. By the time I hobbled up to water cache 3, highway NM 9, Radar was there waiting to take me to the heavenly, air conditioned, hiker ready, food mart in Hachita. There, I treated myself to ice cream, homemade burritos, and a stay at the community centre.

During the rest of my time waiting for new shoes, I met many fellow hikers whom I would cross paths with later, as well as my future hiking partner, EZ. All the hikers were friendly, and many had plans to make their way to Silver City for trail days. It was in arranging a shared shuttle that EZ and I solidified our bond as a trail family (tramily).

A day to heal was all I needed for my spirits to rise, my feet to perk up a bit, and my shoes to come in. I hitched a ride from Hachita back to Lordsburg to pick up my new shoes and resume my hike. This time, I headed south out of Lordsburg to meet the shuttle driver at Hachita who would then take me and EZ to Silver City for trail days.

Next up: Silver City to Silver City, trail days and beyond!

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Comments 3

  • thetentman : May 12th

    Shockingly, flat hiking can be harder seeming than climbing. I would rather the terrain varied. I hate flat.

    Good luck and thx for the post.

    • Sprite : May 16th

      I was shocked as well. The lack of variance on your feet and muscles make for long miles and sore feet!

  • Jan : May 16th

    Ohhhhh…..yes. Constant flat terrain hurts my toes and bottom of my feet!
    This king of you 🙂


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