Saturday, May 16, 2015

April 28 - May1 Lordsburg to Silver City ~ 60 miles

Well, it's been a trip!  What a trip!  The first leg was a great introduction of things to come and a filter for those who would not be continuing on.  There have already been people to drop out or even to get sent home because of lack of preparedness and almost dying TWICE for getting lost and dehydrated.  So far I am still doing well.  The second leg was not exceptionally long.  It was a planned 2.25 days, but I ended up hitching into Silver City on the second day due to some serious foot pain in my arch.  The right foot arch was shooting pains up my leg and I was limping pretty terribly.  So here it is:

Day 5: Burly and I got up in the room we split in Lordsburg, him to rest his knee and me to rest my foot.  It was 5:45am when our feet hit the road and we had a good strong pace heading out on the 3 mile road walk our of Lordsburg.  Our goal was to do 26 miles to catch up with our friends who had decided not to stay the night, but headed out the day before.  We moved from road into some cross country (no trails).  Scrub, brush, and cow dung were the main sights to be seen for miles with mountains in the distance.  That's where we were aiming.
(Dried up water source)


Burly has a longer stride and faster pace than me, so it wasn't long before the distance between us increased and I stopped for a break a few hours into the day.  That resulted in me having my first really mosltly solo day.  It is liberating to hike along as many will attest to.  You break when you want, go to the bathroom when you want, and make your own milage schedule.  I wasn't too sure that I would be able to catch everyone, so I decided to get to a water source and leave it at that.  I got to a windmill called Engineer's Windmill and was very ready for a long break.  The sun and heat were taking their tole, and my foot was not giving me a break from the pain.  I couldn't see how to get to the water, so I sat a bit defeated.  After a few deep breaths I took a look at my Guthook App (a great App that has the CDT route and GPS capabilities with waypoints and water source locations), and saw that there was another better windmill about not too far away, so I decided to try to make it there for my extended break.  I couldn't even make it the hour before needing to take a 30 minute break to rest my foot.  It was getting pretty bad and cripplingly painful.
(Pretty trail with trees and shade)
(Someone left water for hikers!)
(Beef jerky and grumpy at Engineer's Windmill)

I found a nice shady spot and took my shoes off and elevated my feet.  It occured to me the night before that my Pink Super Feet insoles might be exacerbating my foot issue, so I spent my break separating the hard plastic from the foam, putting the foam part back into the shoe.  It felt SO MUCH BETTER!  I was so happy I was practically giddy!  On I trudged and finally saw the Co-op Windmill.  I was about to head down to it, a bit off trail, but thought there might be a better access point a bit up the trail around a curve.  Just as I turned the curve I saw the backs of a group of hikers walking away.  My friend!!!  I gave ayell and they turned around and cheered!  It was one of the happiest moments on trail.  I had caught up to them!  I couldn't believe it!  Capitain, Burly, and Toast walked with me to the water and we all celebrated the cold well water.  They had just finished a 2.5 hour siesta to get away from the afternoon heat.  That was enough time for me to catch them with my shorter breaks.

We were aiming for Goat Camp Windmill for the night.  That would put Burly and me at 29 miles for the day!  Biggest mile day so far.  I did eventually make it, though last in the group with my hobble limp.  We all had dinner together and celebrated Toast's birthday that night with some chocolate and whiskey.  What a great day!

Day 6: It was a cold morning at 36F upon leaving at 7:50am, later in the morning than usual.  This was not the best idea as it ended up being a very hot, windless day.  The goal was 20 miles today and 7 tomorrow into Silver City, which includes a 13 miles highway walk.....Not too appealing.  Burly and I decided pretty quickly that we would hitch in to avoid further damage to his knee and my foot.  There is a very uptight environment in the thru-hiker community about hiking every single mile and step for it to count, but in the end it is what you want it to be.  It is a hike, a walk, and it is only yours to define and decide upon.  I wasn't worried about hitching.
(Pretty view)

I had a hard time from the start.  I was limping right away and even though the terrain was beautiful, we went up into some small mountains, through some forests, on real trail, I just wanted to get to town. I did enjoy some amazing views and the smell of toasting pine needles.  I made the bad decision to play Band of Horses as I was dwelling on past relationships, which is a TERRIBLE idea while you feel like you're limping pathetically miles behind your friends.  Don't do that.

I did run into a day hiker named Peter who was very impressed with our hike and was heading up the mountain that I was coming down from to see some towers.  I had seen some old buildings there and a great view of the area.  He went on his way and I got to a fork in the trail.  There was a note left for me from my friends telling me they went to the right, away from the main CDT route.  On I went and soon found a direct dirt road walk that would take me to the main road I needed to get to to get to the highway.  I was in a seriously miserably painful state by then and ended up stopping a truck and catching a ride with 2 copper miners to the highway.  I hitched with the day hiker, Peter, into Silver City, where I contacted Nick Prince, a friend of friends from Chicago.  He had a whole apartment set up for me!  Wow!  What an amazing treat!

(Salmon salad at The Toad!)

I went to his work and he drove me to the brewery The Toad where he said some other hikers were.  I got an amazing salmon and strawberry salad and an Amber Ale and just hung out there for a few hours.  BigFoot and Hot Springs joined me for a drink and we caught up on the rough break-in period that is the first 2 weeks of trail.  Some of my group ended up hitching in too, which I was pleased about, and we all settled in to the apartment.  It was like a hippie 60's apartment complex with a courtyard, outdoor kitchen, fire barrel, and even a hammok.  Malarky and I snagged the king sized water bed and others found spots both inside an outside the building.

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