* The trail is absolutely lovely!
* The trail is super social! I’ve needed to dust off my “talk to people” skills which have fallen into disuse during pandemic
* I’m zeroing (no-hiking days) in Lordsburg until Monday
The New Mexican desert is intense and beautiful. The fauna best adapted for this harsh, unrelenting environment appears to be the standard cow. Along with lizards and birds circling overhead, cows are plentiful. Other animals have been sparse, with the exception of the endemic thru-hiker.
There’s about 10 people that started the trail the same day I did. Because I’ve been taking it super easy, trying to avoid injury while killing time to meet up with my friend, Little Feet, in Lordsburg on Monday, I’ve been running into folks off and on again throughout the day.
We huddle together amongst large shrubs and man-made artifacts in seek of shade. Banter comes casually, and most hikers out here have seen thousands of miles of trails.
The better part of each day is spent hiking between cow troughs and water tankards along dirt roads. The trail is often more of an optimistic concept than a reality. There are little white placards denoting “CDT” that can be found amongst rocks and desert shrubs on occasion.
I’ve fallen in love with the Ocotillo cactus, which dots the landscape with beautiful red flowers. When staring out across this lively and awake landscape, it becomes obvious why some have decided to make the New Mexican bootheel their home (although probably more due to heavily subsidized ranching?)
I’ve just finished the first 84 miles of the trail, and am stuck in Lordsburg until Monday.
My friend Little Feet was slated to start the trail with me, but due to timing of Moderna compared to Pfizer or J&J, he won’t get here until Monday, and we’ll continue northward at that point. Little Feet will hike the whole trail with me, assuming all goes as planned.
With love from a very boring and not-very veg-friendly Lordsburg,