Camp: Somewhere along Tyrone Rd. Mile 146ish (it’s a lot harder to tell on this trail)
Of our group of 6 I was the only one to cowboy camp last night. I really love just laying on my tyvek and tents sometimes feel constrictive when there is a whole sky to bask under. Eventually I’ll enjoy hiding in my tent again, but it is still warm enough in New Mexico to sleep without shelter, even if we are in the mountains. Either getting out of a tent or simply a sleeping bag, it is sure to be one a chilly start to the day.
I shivered through my morning along with everyone else, and then warmed up quickly as we started hiking. The trail has been wonderful these past few days in the mountains, and today we went even higher (up to 7680 feet). It was the first day we had some real climbing to do and it felt good to use those muscles. We climbed up until we were among ponderosa pines and the smell was intoxicating. The warm smell of vanilla wafted through the air as the needles softened the ground beneath our feet like a carpet. I was in heaven all morning.
There were still cactus among the pines, looking healthy and out of place…but a reminder that we are still in the desert.
We walked to a water source called mud spring and it looked the part. It was palatable when filtered, and was our last water for 20 miles including a dry camp. This meant carrying extra water to use in camp for dinner and breakfast, so some of us opted to eat our cooked meal at the source to carry less water. I’ve been especially grateful to have my gravity filter which lets me do other things as the water hangs from a branch and gravity does its job.
Everyone else struggled with their filters as they have become clogged from all of these murky sources. At least I can do other things as my water does it’s own thing, but they all have to sit and squeeze or pump their water to get it clear and drinkable.
After the lunch/water break we had to find an old section of trail to get to the road we will walk into town. The trail is being rerouted but it hasn’t been finished yet, so we opted to go the old route. This proved to be more complicated than we had anticipated, as the trail wasn’t marked and had several hard to find turns. We eventually just started bushwacking through a wash to get to the road which was kind of fun. Part of hiking the CDT is finding your own way sometimes.
Once on the road we knew that camping would be scarce, so we found a suitable location just 15 miles from town. It is a small wash with pine trees and a pine needle floor just off the road. We hope to go unnoticed here as we just need some rest before our 15 mile road walk.
We will get up at 3am to hike the paved road at the coolest time of day…then we should be in Silver City by noon in order to get errands done and avoid another zero. All of this taking it easy and extra time for yoga has been great. I feel amazing, the trail is amazing, my friends are amazing…and even the weather has been great of late. I really can’t complain about a thing.
Dinner: trail mix, cookies and crackers