I was awake before 2am dozing how light does it need to before I can hike?
At 4am I pulled the stopper on my Exped mattress, I Iove the sound of the roar of air escaping.
I unzipped my tent door and peered out in the darkness. In the distance you could see the lights of Lordsburg twinkling, not long now snail I said.
I began to pack up and was almost finished when a beam of light came out of the darkness.
I introduced myself, this guy had hiked this trail twice. Omg! and was able to give me some great tips then he was gone.
I finished my packing, put on my headtorch, slung on my pack. I must admit to feeling a little worried about navigation in the dark considering I have got lost in daylight ha ha.
I set off and found it easier to see the trail with my light off thank you moon as my light didn’t seem that powerful maybe new batteries are required.?
I was doing well and was soon approaching the exciting prospect of cow water.
I put down my pack and took my two empty bottles to the cow trough. The water was not that bad, a few floaters but fairly clear. I submerged my bottles one at a time before popping in a bleach tab to sterilise the water. Once done I slung up my pack and began to search for the trail.
There was one tent still here the others having long gone.
I located the trail and set off, the first part was littered with rock which I struggle with and my earlier pace now slowed .
It was over cast today with a great breeze so perfect for hiking . I came to my first fence crossing of the day. I wasn’t able to step over this one so pack off before rolling beneath the wire before grabbing my pack.
I took 5 minutes before heading off , I was making such a good pace that I missed a water source. Dam, but I have enough.
I took my first real climb, once up there were great views so took another break, as I was chilling “Zero” came by, we said our hellos then he was gone.
I removed my two bottles and added a good squeeze of Milo into each bottle. Milo is a electrolyte, It’s also to disguises the taste of the bleach from earlier. I transferred the contents to my bladder repacked and I was off.
As I passed another tree I noticed my two colleagues Hawkeye and Dr Tom resting we caught up on pleasantries, before joining them.
We had walked for another hour until I needed another break and there was the perfect tree. We sat here for about 30 min. But the miles do not walk themselves, so time to go.
We hadn’t gone far when a lady rancher appeared on her quad/ gator she was missing 2 cows
We said we saw two down by the tree, we chatted a while before she zoomed off.
Our next target was another water tank, We soon we arrived and there was shade and the water was good. As we relaxed a stream of other hikers appeared ,grabbed water and left.
The Boys decided to leave, I stayed a little longer before setting off after them.
I appeared to have a great pace as I crunched the miles .
“Snail, Snail ” It was Hawkeye and Dr Tom who had found a great tree with massive shade.
Now I should have stopped and joined them but as I had pace and wanted the miles.
I pushed on thinking shade would arrive, but it never did and it was getting hotter, but I still had great pace so pushed on. I frantically began searching for shade ,nothing maybe over this hill ? nothing.
I soon met a Sobo. Any shade I asked.
“Sadly not, but water is in a mile.!
Wow I had pushed miles, but now I really wanted shade.
The cache soon came into view and as usual no shade. I sat beside the box debating my options . Which turned into several hours . Eventually Hawkeye and Dr Tom arrived.
They filled up on water and then decided they wanted 3 more miles as it was still early
I watched them go . I was just about to leave when Cal arrived he’s one of the CDT shuttle drivers who was checking on the water and restocking. He was so chatty it took a while to leave.
It was cool as the wind had now got up I wanted 2 more miles if possible to make an easy walk to Town although typically this section seemed to have many climbs, I was hoping for flat. I pushed on as the wind grew more fierce , i need a flat spot a sheltered flat spot . After several more climbs I came to a sheltered river bed maybe that will do! But as I explored it, it was still too windy hopefully it will die down I hope. I laid out my tent flat and will pitch when the wind dies.
I had a banging headache, perhaps too much sun so put on a brew then cooked some dinner although I am still struggling to eat maybe the heat.
Dinner was tasty and the wind had now died down to enable me to put up my tent. But it was still too hot to get inside but was cooling