First off, I landed in El Paso and couch surfed with a lovely host. We cooked dinner together and bonded over our love of healthy lifestyles. The next morning, Brandon (Cousin T or simply Toast) came to pick me up and we used a body fat measure to see where we would start. I was at 23% and he was at 8%. He's super fit. Once our fellow hiker Charlie (Burly) landed we picked him up at the airport and headed toward Lordsburg.
We spent a couple nights there with Johnny (Big Foot) and Andy (Malarky). It was great fun as we got to know each other and thoroughly explored the grocery store and local restaurants.
It was finally time to leave on the 24th! The shuttle left Lordsburg at 6:30am, after a quick breakfast at the Econo Lodge, and we took a very leisurely, but bumpy, 3 hour ride to the Southern Terminus at the Crazy Cook Monutment. The 10 hikers (Toast, Malarky, Burly, Big Foot, Fun Size, Jes, Delightful, Banana Pants, me) filled the shuttle. We shared snacks and mostly stayed quiet as we realized that this was really happening!
Then we got there!
Day 1: We were pretty good about getting pictures and getting out on trail. It started with sort of a trail leading to trail markers that were scattered around theoretically leading us to where we needed to go.
We did about 15 miles, getting to the first water cache, a metal box where the CDT coalition stores 2 gallons of water per person, and continued on. The highlight was introducing my calf to a cactus and then removing the spines from my skin. Yum. The other highlight was feeling VERY hungry for my dinner. A mountain House Beef Chili Mac. Yum! It was a fine day overall, and I was exhausted by the end and set up my ground tarp, Therma Rest, and sleeping bag and cowboy camped (no shelter). We all camped together except for Banana Pants who has done this trail before and has a LONG stride, so he was somewhere ahead. Here are some pics:
Day 2: The next morning was a bright and early start.
I had not done too many 20 mile days in my time. My feet took a beating and I pushed a bit too hard.
Day 3: 24 mile day. Went better than the previous day. It rained, a cold rain. A very cold, windy, rain!
Day 4: This was another 20 mile day. We hiked from cache 4 to cache 5 and it was a lovely day.
(Headed to pyramid peak)The miles were smooth and the mini mountains were really nice to hike through. It was 36 F that morning! Cold day and the condensation settled on all of us. Not a sleeping bag was dry. I was actually woken up by drops of water falling from the ceiling of my tent. We all laid out stuff out to dry without actually getting the sun to shine on it. It was as if the clouds were chasing the rising sun. We ended up packing up wet and hiking on for a couple hours before taking rest and drying out our stuff.
(Strange things out here)
We slept at the cache that night. I set up the tent again and was happy I did. It was seriously windy and I did not sleep much. Everything got covered in a fine layer of dust. More pictures:
Day 5: Nero into Lordsburg. It was an easy 7 miles from the cache into town.