CDT NM 1st Section

Day 6: In the desert

I don’t have the trail stamina I had five months ago. Even with hours long breaks in the middle of the day, I’m cruising in late with my legs and glutes totally shot and my energy spent.

I woke up well before dawn, slept in, and finally dragged myself awake an hour later. I got started hiking a bit after sunrise.

The first bit of trail was slow going, trying to spot posts from a distance, many of which had fallen. I lost the trail frequently and had to use the GPS to figure out whether I was above or below.

I came out onto the flats and passed the Gayhearts just before noon. They had taken the road walk instead of the trail and so had it a bit easier. But they were already curled up under two umbrellas. I hid behind a bush and made lunch. I kept going, passed Whitewater doing his umbrella thing, then continued to the second water cache. I filled up and continued across the road.

Here there was a CDT info sign casting a sizeable shadow. I laid in it for 2.5 hours. Near the end, a man my age parked his truck to come look at the trail. His oversized Philmont belt buckle gave him away as a Boy Scout. We chatted, he took some pictures, did not offer any cold beverages, and left.

The shade was running away under a barbed wire fence and done clouds were rolling in, so I started packing up soon after that. I set off across the flats again just before 4.

An hour later, I stopped in the shade of a bush for a snack and a drink, and accidentally lost a pint or two of water when the hose popped out of my bag again. I had already passed another water tank and it was another ten miles to the next water source. I seemed to have a couple liters still, so I crossed my fingers and hiked on.

I stopped again around 6. I was feeling a bit sick and weak, so it was clearly time to refuel with supper. While I was cooking, a big cloud came by with five minutes of rain. I wished it had poured hard enough to collect some.

Even after supper, I wasn’t feeling super energetic, but I walked on a couple more miles as the sun set and didn’t stop until I was well into civil twilight. The trail was easy to find here since it followed a rocky road.

The wind wasn’t as bad as the previous evening when I went to set up, but I was all out of energy. Even so, I managed to crawl into bed before nine. Energy gone, feet all ripped up. I wanted to leave the vestibule open to cool off in the breeze but it started raining again and I closed it up. Not much water left and seven miles to the next source. But a definite repair plan in mind for the troublesome hose. Hopes the trail would stay easy so I could get to the water before it got hot.

This was not enough miles. Siestas might need to be shorter. Snack breaks more frequent.

Trail miles: 17

5 replies on “Day 6: In the desert”

I can leave you my water bag after I leave you on the 17th if needed. Let me know if you need me to pick up anything (not too huge, not checking a bag) for repairs or replacements before I come your way.

This is my nightly bedtime read. Love your narrative. Feel like I’m on the trail with you. Rest up. See you on the trail tomorrow.

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