Day 23: Everyday it’s a new pain

Miles: 19.5

Miles Hiked: 381.8

Location: El Mapis

This morning I woke up around 6am to see a beautiful sunrise. I didn’t even have to leave my cozy sleeping bag on the trail. I didn’t hear anyone moving around yet, so I happily went back to sleep for about another hour. I did not want to hike at all today. My legs and feet were aching so bad and the clouds over head indicated that the rainy weather prediction for today would be accurate. If I could have, I would of happily lounged around camp all day and taken a zero. I had enough food and water to do so. Thankfully my friends motivate me so I slowly packed up my things.

We hiked cross country from our camp to the trail for a mile and a half. Jenga, 12 Pack and I all had a beer for breakfast since our trail angel friends threw some extras in our backpacks. We wanted to get rid of the weight sooner rather than later and breakfast beers are totally appropriate when you’re hiking about 20 miles a day everyday. We were on an actual trail the entire day! This is the first time that has happened since we left the Gila River Section about a week ago. It’s so crazy how different this trail is than the other long distance ones we have all hiked. The terrain was very flat and sandy all day long. There were lots of small chunks of volcanic rocks and clumps of grass intermittently. The trail was mostly marked by Carins and occasionally a CDT sign. A book I was reading about the area at the hostel said that some of the Carins are estimated to be a couple hundred years old.

We reached our water source for the day about 11 miles from where we started. To get to it we had to hike a mile round trip from the trail. It was a cattle tank filled with green water but it filtered clear! After that we hiked 8 more miles to camp. There were thunder storm clouds and rumbling in the distance, but it looked like they were moving in the opposite direction as us. We were wrong. It started to lightly rain and snow the rest of the way to camp and I was very cold. Shockingly we found a cooler that contained trail magic from the Green Party of New Mexico. I drank a cold seltzer water and had a squeeze tube of apple sauce. We were all surprised at getting trail magic for a second day in a row. Especially on a much less popular route to hike of the CDT.

When we got to a stopping point, we had a hard time finding a place to camp. There were tiny rocks EVERYWHERE. 12 Pack, Free Fall and I were able to find a slightly less rocky patch under some trees and Jenga hiked on another 0.5 miles past us. I made sure I took care of myself tonight unlike I usually do. I stretched really good for almost 30 minutes, brushed my teeth, and took melatonin to help me sleep better. Usually I feel way too lazy to do that at the end of a hard day. My feet started hurting really bad today so I made the decision to spend some extra time stretching and taking care of them in hopes that they won’t hurt as bad tomorrow. Overall, I was struggling quite a bit today but it was one of the nicest days of hiking we have had since we left the Gila River.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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