Day 39: The long hitch back

Miles Hiked: Zero

Total Milage: 626.1

Location: Hopewell Lake

This morning I woke up and did my chores as efficiently as I could. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to trail today yet or not. After some research on conditions and the weather, I made the decision to hitch hike back to the trail later in the evening. The plan would be to spend the night at Hopewell Lake where we bailed off and wake up as early as I could to hike as far as I could while the weather looks good for tomorrow.

After we checked out of our room at 11am, Jenga, 12 Pack, and I walked to the Y motel where we met up with Free Fall for lunch. While we were eating, storm clouds quickly rolled in and it started to rain. Our friend Plant drove by with a truck. We ended up getting in his vehicle and sheltering at his hotel while we let the storm pass. In the mean time, we watched “A Bugs Life” movie together. After the rain passed, Jenga, 12 Pack, and I went to the road to try and hitch back to the trail. We knew it would be a hard hitch so we wanted to do it today so we would have maximum hiking time tomorrow.

The first hitch we got happened really fast. A local from Tierra Amarilla picked us up and let us ride in the back of his truck. He couldn’t take us all the way but he could take us to the highway that went directly to the campground where we left the trail. After saying goodbye, we were standing on the side of highway 64 trying to get the second hitch for about two hours. No one driving in our direction stopped but many people driving in the opposite direction did stop just to chat with us. One guy even gave us beer! After two hours a car pulled over to give us a ride the rest of the way. Our friends Free Fall and Melissa were already in the vehicle. It was a local couple who likes to help out hikers. We all got in and made it back to camp by 7pm. We were SO THANKFUL for both of those hitches! Apparently it is a very hard location to get back to.

At camp, we set up inside of a small shelter that looked just like the ones on the AT. I was very happy about it. I made Mac and cheese for dinner and passed out around 8pm for the early wake up tomorrow!

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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