It’s not me It’s you…..

New Mexico I’m moving on, it’s time. You tested me in ways I never imagined. The heat in the desert with no shade to found, to the cold temps that I was not expecting. There were winds that about blew me right off the trail.

Your amount of wildlife is Incredible, a bear, elk, rabbits, COWS, rattle snakes, turkeys, and a bird that looked like a Cornish hen!

Crossing the Gila river so many times I lost count. Such a contrast to the high current ice cold streams that numbed my feet in the north. I will never forget how my heart pounded and legs shaked as I crossed on a downed log. Your many, many gates and fences.

The scenery you provided brought western movies and Georgia O’Keefe paintings to life. The one night I cowboy camped I felt like a bandit, but the star filled sky seemed so close I could touch it.

Your small towns made it hard to return to the trail at times. So many friendly, generous  and kind people helping make this journey easier.

As my first state on the CDT you didn’t make it easy. Embrace the Brutality, indeed. I doubted myself at times, but your challenges have made me stronger.

So I’m off to face the snowy mountains of Colorado. Thanks for the memories New Mexico!

Cold snap

Things have not been going all that well since this seven days stretch started. It was chilly waiting for Doc Campbell’s store to open, but we needed to get our packages. Glad we had them as it would have cost a small fortune to resupply there. I left there feeling I still had things to do, I did. Like my phone and pocket battery both were not fully charged, couldn’t make any calls (no signal only wifi), and no laundry, sink showered put back on dirty clothes.


So first off it’s been REALLY windy and cold. We took the High Route, as it had only one river crossing, but was crazy windy. Seriously the wind has been going full blast for like 3 days. Oh did I mention I dropped my phone, yup, landed right in a stream, great. It was kinda wonky for a bit, all the wind helped dry it I think. It’s mostly working except my GPS map won’t show my location, agh. [Update: changed a setting and GPS maps are working!]

Just when I thought I could deal with the wind came the cold. It was so cold on the 3rd day, I hiked ALL DAY in my puffy jacket, rain coat and all my clothes. (Btw, I forgot my wool cap, darn it) With no phone signal we really had no idea about the weather.  So as we’re walking along this jeep road, headed for the hills a guy in a truck pulls up.

Guy: you girls ok?
Us: yes
Me: how’s the weather? (pointing to dark clouds gathering in the distance)
Guy: oh, storm coming….snow in the high country, bye.
Us: well great

mmm, tasty water
You never really know what to expect out here. Last week I was melting in the desert, this week, snow. People have made fun that I carry cold weather gear the whole hike. But I was so glad to have my long pants, gloves, and multiple shirts….i wore them all to bed the other night! See we got to camp setup our tents….that’s when the thunder started, then the hail, then the snow. Turns out the low that night (at close to 9000 feet) was 30°!  New Mexico, prepping us for Colorado I suppose. We are about 50 miles from Pie Town our next resupply stop. Can’t wait….I need a weather break, and shower.

Trail lesson: things might be tough today, hang in there, a change is gonna come.

Poked and scratched

There are a lot of things that poke and scratch you out here, and then there’s the bob wire fences! I’ve been over, under and around so many fences. But we made it 85 miles back to Lordsburg!

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Don’t fence me in…see that CDT sign…that’s the trail.

I got a pretty wicked tan, yea desert hiking! Seven of us left the border at the same time. Most of them flew by us. We kept running into a group of three 2 guys and a girl (ME, Thor, and Garbelly). We would all huddle under the very limited shade spots. Later I found out this was ME’s FIRST thru hike! Go girl!

Now Kelsey and I are sharing a room with Treeman, he’s from Germany and a joy to chat with. Getting showers, laundry and food for the next 3 day leg. Food resupply is easy, with all the heat I didn’t eat much. Kelsey on the other hand has found her Hiker hunger and is resupplying at McDonalds!

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Double cheeseburgers to pack out!

 

Leaving EARLY tomorrow morning, trying to beat the heat. Next stop Silver City! Only 2915 miles to go….

Happy Trails!

And they’re off….

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Leaving the border, southern terminus.

It’s now Day 2…..and we are thoroughly scratched up from playing “find the trail.” First day went great, even though it was plenty hot. I was only carrying 1.5 liters of water so I beat to the first water cache about 13 miles then camped about 2 miles after that. Water is heavy, yo. So, I like my Nemo air mattress, not love; only because I’m  concerned about popping it. It miss my Zlite I could just throw down anywhere. Got a good nights rest even with Border Patrol barreling by at about 1am, shining a spot light on my tent.

Kelsey and I started day 2 realizing were off trail. (Kelsey and I met on the PCT, hiked part of the AT together, so it only seemed right we start this challenge off together! ) We had to go through A LOT of brush to get back on trail that morning. I brushed by a cactus, ouch, they were in my shirt and my arm. Think I’ll live. Made it to the second water cache, met Youngblood, he is a young guy hiking alone, and did the PCT last year. We discussed the lack of shade and trail finding difficulties. I got 3.5 liters to get me 20 miles to the next water. I cameled up (drank 1 liter), so I should be fine.