Miles: 0
Camping: Not. Hanging in Lordsburg.

Well, it wasn’t my intention to zero this early on but here we are. The group decided to stay, and I wasn’t eager to venture off completely alone just yet. Though I strive for my solitude and independence out there, people are part of the journey as well. Plus, it never hurts to give the blisters a chance to dry out more…and hotels are really cheap here.

Therefore I want to use this blog to talk about some of the really impressive people I am hiking with and around. First off, I started the trail with a group of 7 women (and 4 men too). Turns out that is some kind of record. Go us!

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The ladies: Spring Chicken, Rebecca, Spirit, Wilderness, Dust Bunny, Cerveza, Rampage
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With the guys: Gnome God, Mudbug, Elusive and Squirrel

Rampage is from Colorado and this is her first thru hike. She is a cancer survivor with type 1 diabetes and is amazingly positive and a true badass. She has to continually monitor her blood sugar and take insulin in order to hike. Just when you think you have enough to deal with out here, I can’t even imagine the extra effort she puts in even though I watch her do it every day. She is really positive about it though, and it is really impressive. She even had to deal with a serious bloody nose (almost 30 hours!) after the wind storm the other night. She said her tent looked like a crime scene…and she just laughs about it and keeps on trucking. If you want to read more about her she blogs at http://rampaigingaround.wordpress.com

Another interesting hiker is Elusive. I met him on day 1 and he is on a most fascinating and admirable journey. He is roughly 65 years old and started hiking in 2014. He did the Appalachian Trail first, then rode his bike to Florida, hiked the Florida Trail, rode his bike to Minnesota, kayaked the Mississippi to New Orleans, walked to Lordsburg, NM, is now hiking the CDT and then plans to kayak the Missouri River, walk to California and do the PCT…and there is more to come. He is just about the nicest, happiest, most inspirational person I’ve come across in my own travels. Read more about Elusive here: http://www.davidowenroberts.com He also wrote a book that I plan to read after trail, because it sounds really cool (it’s about aliens observing Earth on a faster timeline).

We are also hiking right around the warrior hikers, a group of Veterans who hike together to combat PTSD. They are pretty cool so far, though I haven’t spent much time with them yet. They have been really friendly so far, and I look forward to seeing them down the trail. I love seeing people use hiking as a tool for healing, it really is the best therapy I’ve ever had.

Everybody out here is impressive solely for being here. Cerveza is working on her triple crown with this hike, Spring Chicken used to do triathalons, has hiked the Colorado Trail 3 times and the JMT once. She is 64 and doing better than most of us kids, like it ain’t no thing…it is so inspiring to look around at the endurance and tenacity of these hikers. I’m proud to be among them.

No view from the loo today. Just picture an Econolodge bathroom if you must. Back on trail bright and early tomorrow! Can’t wait to see what’s coming!

Dinner: toasted turkey sub loaded with veggies

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