4/21 The Ravens and I took photos at the Southern Terminus and started to our first camp at the first water cache at MP 14.5. Beginnings can be hard and the heat and pack weight will take some time. I always lose my appetite for the first week or so and coming from winter temperatures to shadeless summer slays me. But as the other hikers (9 of 10) who shuttled out the same day rolled into camp and we all settled into tents, I was happy to be back hiking.
4/22 was about making the water cache at Mile 27 which we did, choosing to push on carrying 5 liters another 3 miles to a lovely sandy wash sprinkled with dried cow pies and thorny bushes. The Ravens and I were joined by Johnny from Germany who felt as nauseous and overheated as I was. Neither of us could finish our dinners. As he was blowing up his mattress, I heard Mama Raven exclaim she heard a rattlesnake. When we figured out it was Johnny, I yelled “trail name, Rattlesnake!”
There is very little trail so far, it’s pick your own cow path CDT post-to-post, or walk a dirt road. Lovely though, horned toads, huge black tail rabbits with gigantic ears, cows, doves, ravens, deer scat. Very, very hot.
4/23, day 3, I fell down, went a ways down the wrong road and threw up my dinner. Excellent day. Laying in my tent on soft sand waiting for the sun to go down never felt so good.
4/24 was again about finding water caches, shade and trying to eat enough to stay alive. It got really windy so target mileage went out the window as we pushed on to find some kind of wind break for the tents. The Ravens, Dassie from South Africa and I found a remarkably comfy but tight area and slept soundly tucked below a slight levee and thorn bushes that look like the Kiawe bush s on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Day 5, 4/25, we made it back to Lordsburg a day ahead of schedule. What a day. 11 miles of gentle uphill into a howling headwind and another 6 or so on a rather busy but well graded dirt road into town. Dozens of Border Patrol vehicles and an old red truck that swerved toward me for no reason. I looked behind and he did the same thing to Bling who froze in place until the truck went by. It was a brutal day, I felt annilated and could only eat half of my bacon cheeseburger in town. I’m taking a zero. Turns out we were in a sandstorm so ferocious they shut down the I-10.