Miles Hiked: 17.25
Total Milage: 17.25
Location: Trail Junction off mile 16.7. Commadore Road.
This morning we all woke up around 5am and started to get ready for the trail. I took a shower, ate a muffin for breakfast, put on my hiking clothes, and got a call from Luke. Camp Crazy Cook shuttle picked us up in front of our hotel at 6am and we began the three hour drive to the monument.
Our shuttle driver was Dion, the owner of the business. There was another hiker in the car named Jenga who hiked the PCT last year. On the way out of Lordsburg Dion called border patrol to let them know he was dropping off four hikers at the Mexican border. We learned alot about the area from Dion who is a tripple crowner and has operated the shuttle down here since 2015. He plans to open up a hostel in Hachita New Mexico in the next couple of years and we are all so excited for him!
We learned that the town of Hachita means “little hatchet” and we will be hiking around Big Hatchet and Little Hatchet mountain. He also pointed out where the trail crosses some of the roads and where our water caches will be.
I learned a little bit about the current situation on the border down here. Currently a couple of people have been trying to illegally cross everyday. Border patrol now has out their super powered telescope that he said could most likely see all the way to the border and back to Lordsburg from about halfway in between the two. I feel like I am constantly being watched. Dion gave us the advice of not helping out any illegals that we see while we are hiking and to stay on the good side of the border patrol. He said it’s likely that we will be asked for identification at some point and to just be as cooperative as possible if we do run into border patrol. It’s so strange feeling under surveillance in the middle of the desert with nothing around, not even water.
We got to the border a bit earlier than expected. A little bit before 9am. We took a ton of pictures and all of us put a foot over the barbed wire fence into Mexico to begin the hike!
On the way down I asked Dion why it was called “Crazy Cook” monument. I could barely find any information on the subject online. He said that in the early 1900s a crew of people were building a fence along the Mexican border. Someone in the crew pissed off the camp cook who then murdered him with an axe. We stopped to see the gravestone right before the monument. Apparently the person is buried on a hill in Mexico just across the border.
We made it about 8 miles before the four of us took a very long break in a gulch with some shade. I ended up taking a break before that around mile six. My stomach was pretty upset from eating McDonald’s yesterday and I was very hungry so I stopped for a snack and some rest. The trail was extremely flat with lots of small pebbles, lots of dry dusty dirt, and zero shade. We walked by many Ocatillo plants, Yucca, and small mountains /hills in the distance.
Our break was from noon to 3pm during the heat of the day. Jenga said his thermometer read 89 degrees. We hiked 5 more miles to the first water cache where we all made dinner and filled up. During the first 13 miles I drank 5 liters of water. It was mostly because I was tired of carrying it but I think it will help me avoid dehydration over the next few days. I plan to be drinking as much as I can. At the water cache we decided to take our first alternate route. We road walked for 3.3 miles before setting up camp for the night at a trail junction.
I feel very beat from today. My hips and shoulders are aching pretty bad, and at the end of the day I started to get a hot spot right on the sole of my foot. I hope it was a small rock in my shoe causing the irritation because I do not want to get a blister in one of the worst spots one day in to this 6 month hike. I really miss Luke and my family right now. I hope my body feels better tomorrow but I have a feeling that carrying 10 pounds of water will have me weighed down until we get to the Gila River section in about 9-10 days.
I would like to start this trail off a little easier but we have to average 17 miles a day to get to Lordsburg in five days. Another problem is the lack of water sources. Even if we wanted to take it slower carrying more than five liters of water would be pretty challenging.