Miles: 15
Camp: Trail angel house in Silver City CDT mile 161

I heard Squirrel stirring before the 3:00 alarm, but I couldn’t bring myself to exit the cozy warmth of my sleeping quilt yet. I tucked my down jacket into my cocoon in order to warm it for waking, and lay there enjoying the last snippets of slumber.

Finally my alarm beckoned, and I rose diligently knowing my day would be much better if I took action. I made oats and coffee, then sat and gazed at the big dipper as I consumed them.

“I love my life,” I thought in that moment. “I love it lots.”

Chores got done by hikers one by one, and soon Spirit and I led the march out of camp to town. It was great hiking by 4am, the stars and waning moon lighting our way. I apparently need new batteries for my headlamp, but town is where we are headed so it should be an easy task. She and I chatted about hiking, relationships, mining and food as we plugged away at the road miles (the first 4 were dirt).

The copper mine loomed large to our left as an unpleasant odor wafted our way. The miles went quick though, unfortunately to the detriment of our feet. Spirit was feeling her blisters and I, shockingly, was not. However, the bunion on my left foot woke up and stabbed at my nerves as I walked. All it takes is a road walk to aggravate one’s ailments, no matter what they may be.

When Rampage caught up to us, the sun began to rise. It was definitely coldest just before dawn and we all pushed forward to stay warm. We even passed a long driveway lined with toilets.

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New Mexico sure has character.

By 10 am we were walking into Silver City. Just as we were slogging the last half mile a woman yelled to us:

“Are you hiking the CDT?”
“Yes,” we replied as she paused in watering her flowers.
“Come stay with me!” She shouted

She showed all 6 of us down to a huge apartment with everything we could ever hope for (showers, beds with pillows, laundry, a full kitchen, wifi, multiple toilets, a yoga studio and more)…at no cost. I felt like I was in shock at the amazing offer she presented us with; a free apartment with all amenities for our entire group. Her name is Wendy and she hiked the PCT in the 80s…alone and in a high snow year (she sure had a more impressive hike than ol Cheryl). She is a true angel who I couldn’t even begin to be more grateful for.

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Wendy and her pup at Mckenzie Pass on the PCT
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Our amazing kitchen
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Spirit and Squirrel figuring out the new GPS

We are all going to cook dinner together and then get up to make our own breakfast. It is so perfect so far.

No view from the loo because it was super dark outside. The toilets were clearly out of order. Such a tease.

Time to relax. Hiking on tomorrow.

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