Day 22: Trail Angels of Albuquerque

Miles: 22.3

Total Milage: 362.3

Location: Cerro Brillante

Last night I didn’t sleep at all. I tossed and turned and even considered getting up to hike in the middle of the night. In the end I decided it would be better just to let my body rest even if I wasn’t sleeping. At 4am I slowly got up with 12 Pack and Melissa and we hiked out around 5am. My body was so sore and I was hardly awake at all. I’m not sure how I kept moving all day but the trail magic was certainly a motivator.

The first part of the day continued our long road walk down the gravel road past many ranches. Eventually we hit a small paved highway and stayed on it for 2 miles before hitting an actual trail in El Mapis. Once on the trail, the rest of the day was following Carins over a dusty field with intermittent grass and volcanic rock that really hurt to trip on. For about 1-2 miles we got to traverse a lava field that was so cool! I loved seeing the parts where the lava cooled in a ripple pattern. Ocasionally there were open grassy patches in the lava field or giant holes. Once I got out of the lava field section the blisters on my toes were absolutely killing me. I had to sit down to pop them and do some blister care. I limped for about a mile afterwards until my toes went numb.

Today was the closest I’ve came to “hitting the wall” while hiking. I was so tired I couldn’t bring myself to eat until I was done walking and I hardly drank any water for the second day in a row. My lips were terribly chapped and sticky from sunburn and dehydration. Every step felt pretty labored. The last five miles I played music on my headphones and hiked as strongly as I could just to get it over with. Before stopping to break, I went pee. I knew once I got to sit down it would be a while before I could get back up. My pee was a dark brown color which was pretty concerning and evidence of my body not handling the milage along with the under nutrition from the last two days very well. I was so happy to finally sit down on the side of the road and put my aching feet up on my pack. I ended up arriving at the trail magic spot an hour early. I was glad I had some time to decompress and recover before socializing. The sleep deprivation hit me so hard that I momentarily fell asleep. Jenga brought out a pie he carried all the way from Pie Town for us to share. I was so tired I almost didn’t sit up to eat it. It was a blackberry one which turned out to be my favorite of the five different pies I got to try. I personally ended up hiking 37 miles in a 24 hour period with a 5-6 hour break in the middle of it. That’s my personal best for most miles hiked in 24 hours. I don’t have a desire to do that again any time soon.

When the trail angels we were meeting arrived I was absolutely blown away by their generosity. Mark, Cheryl, Molly, and Dan of Albuquerque; THANK YOU SO MUCH! Everything I ever dreamed of being provided at trail magic was. I think the fresh food helped me recover the most, we had fresh vegetables and the best home made ranch dressing I’ve ever had, fresh cut fruit, grilled hot dogs with ALL the condiments, chips, popsicles, beer, soda and Cider. Not only was food provided but also a few staples I really needed/ was out of. I got a fresh pair of socks and some moleskin for my blisters. Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and even chapstick were given to me. I just could not believe how much they did for us! Before we parted ways, they sent us off with even more food. I packed out another hot dog for dinner and got a couple of things to supplement my food bag. I ended up walking away with a heavier pack than I left town with. Today was probably one of the best trail magics I’ll ever receive on a long trail.

We set up camp under some trees with low branches on the side of the mountain. It was an attempt to get out of the wind that has been blowing hard all day long. I was so excited to fall asleep.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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