Miles: 14
Camp: CDT mile #113

Knowing we were going to take it easy today, none of us set an alarm and we woke naturally with the sun. I slept well in my tent, but somehow completely lost an earplug in the night. I had to switch it to the other ear every time I rolled over (which is rather frequent when I camp). I’d rather that than a sandstorm any day.

This morning was by far the coolest yet even though we barely made it into the mountains last night. I thought I would warm up just hiking in shorts, but eventually had to dig out some warmer clothes. I added my wind shirt, buff and pants. It made a big difference in how I felt and it made the miles more enjoyable.

The trail kept winding deeper into the mountains as the cool wind helped us forget those hot days in the bootheel. We eventually stopped at a windmill that had good water and took a nice long break there. I spent some time doing yoga and other stretches, and it felt life changing. Cerveza also caught up with us, as she had to wait behind us in Lordsburg for new shoes. Her feet feeling better she was able to close the gap between us, and it helped we didn’t go very far.

The walking today was really great. The trail went up and down a bit, but nothing too dramatic. I noticed new muscles being engaged in climbing with my pack, but I am happy for any opportunity to get stronger. The whole point of taking our time is to build our strength and the trail was conducive to that with it’s gentle climbs. Soon we will be scaling mountains, but for now the meandering hills are nothing but pleasant.

Our last water source was the murkiest yet, a true science experiment. Algae floated on top of the water and it appeared slimy while small water bugs and tadpoles danced beneath the water’s surface. I remember Edward Abbey saying that the best water has the most things living in it. We should truly worry if nothing was able to survive in it. I thank Edward Abbey for the positive spin on the situation. He knows a thing or two about this life.

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More cow trough water
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Water is life

After filling our bottles, we collectively decided to find camp nearby. We are truly milking this section and it is luxurious. We got to camp early and have all kinds of time for resting, stretching, eating, reading etc. I love it this way, so easily and smoothly transitioning into the trail life again. It’s really starting to click now; the old habits that make time in camp most efficient, tricks to loading the pack so it is easy to get to everything and carries comfortably, what to eat at snack time, how much water to carry. It is all coming together.

I’ll say it again, I love this trail.

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Windmill
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Looking back on the desert floor

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View from the loo

Dinner: ramen. I gave the spice packet to Squirrel and added coconut oil, oregano, broccoli, chicken, beef jerky, garlic, turmeric, sea salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to the noodles.

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