One rule about staying in a hotel on the trail is to sleep in, so naturally we woke up at 7:00am. There was no sunrise wake up call or need to start hiking to beat the heat, but there was no going back to sleep. Instead, we filled the tub up one more time threw in a bunch of Espson Salt and stuck our feet in the hot water. This was not only to help the soreness but also to pull some of the moisture out to help our blisters. Afterwards we grabbed breakfast at the complimentary buffet, and then made our resupply runs to pick up more food and sunscreen.
Leaving town is always exciting. Yes, it is nice to indulge in the luxuries of food and showers, but the need to get back on the trail is a never ending call. Even though the trail isn't going anywhere, there is almost a sense of urgency to see what's up next.
We walked US highway 70 until it split to NM-90 and re-entered farmland. This section lacked gates and the barbed wire was strung too tight to pull down and step through, so we shimmied under, each getting the tiniest cactus needles in our hands. We were able to get some out before it became impossible to find anymore and left the rest to fall out or splinter. We walked a few miles and repeated this process of crawling under and picking out needles.
This section was monotonous and hot. We wandered from sign to sign around cactuses and up and down gullies. We had started with 5 liters of water and a storage bag filled with food. Our packs were not light. We had our eyes set out to reach the Gila National Forest and that beautiful mile 100.
Just when it seemed we were going to be walking along power lines through the flat desert with Lordsburg still uncomfortably close, we made it to the Gila border. No, we were not graced with trees, shade, and cooler temperatures, but we were that much closer. Walking along sandy roads winding up into the hills, the sun was starting to hide behind and we were finally in cool air. We were hiking later than we had in the previous days. Then all of a sudden there it was- that perfect little 1,0, and 0 drawn out in stones. Mile 100. Our packs dropped at the scene, and we set up camp. We had heard a warning of some larger feline critters in these hills that gave previous hikers trouble, but we tried not to let that get into our heads.
Unfortunately, sleep did not come easy that night. With every creek and rustle of the wind, our eyes opened wider as we laid in our sleeping bags restless.
Cheers to not getting eaten and the trail!
Garbelly & Critter