Miles hiked: 20.3
Total Milage: 104.95
Location: Guthook mile 103.6
Today I woke up around 7am. I set my last blog posts to post each day while I’m out hiking, updated facebook and got out of bed to pack up my things. My friend Pop Rocks gave me a call before we left. It’s so nice to hear from my friends especially the ones who know what a thru hike is like. Itchy and I stopped by the gas station for some ice coffee and snacks for breakfast. We walked the road out of town with Jenga. We were on the side of a not so busy highway for about 2-3 miles before hitting the trail in the open desert again.
Once in the open desert there wasn’t a trail at all for the first 4-5 miles. There was hardly even an attempt at a trail. We pretty much just walked in the general direction of the fences we knew we had to crawl under. Eventually we saw some CDT signs. We rely on a mapping application called “Guthook” to show us our location in real time in relation to a red line that is the trail. Guthook also has a lot of waypoints where people can comment to leave updated information about water sources and campsites. At one point we ended up a half mile off trail but we noticed that a dirt road we found eventually intersected the trail so we just walked along it until we saw the trail again.
For lunch, Emma, Jenga and I all stopped in a wash to eat food and relax for about an hour. While we were hiking to the first water source that was 15 miles from town we ran into two other hikers. We met “lady bug” who is a middle aged lady from Canada and Heidi who ended up camping with us later. Around 4pm we finally reached the windmill/ cow tank that served as a water source. When we got there we caught up with Revolt and FreeFall and then we met 12 pack, Strange bird, and cyclops. Everyone we saw on trail that day ended up in one spot at once. A total of 10 of us! It was the most hikers I saw In one spot this entire trail so far. The cow tank we were filling up out of was slightly green and had some dead bugs in it but the water was coming out clear. Mostly because there was a clear flow of water coming from a pipe that would start when you pushed a floating ball down a little bit.
After we sat around for an hour and made plans for a camping spot, our little group left together so we could all cross the 100 mile mark at the same time and get a picture. This part of the trail was a dirt road walk with tons of little ups and downs before we started to climb a little bit of elevation for the first time. Right around 7pm we got to hike through the first section of trail I thought was absolutely stunning with enjoyable scenery. It was a little rolling ridge and we could see green mountains in the distance. The soil color also changed to a darker brown which I thought was interesting. Getting to such a beautiful part of actual trail lifted my spirits quite a bit.
We stopped to camp in a little grove of trees with lots of sandy spots. It reminded me of a place that would be in “The Jungle Book”. I set up a cowboy camp on top of a sheet of polycro I got in Silver City in on our zero day. It’s basically a strong sheet of plastic to keep my things from getting dirty. I have been using it to lounge around during breaks too. At camp we all cooked dinner together and hung out until dark. I am loving this tramily we have going! I am going to be sad when “Itchy” (my sister, Emma) has to get off trail in a couple of days.