Day 1. 

5/5/17

Miles: 25.9

I got up at 5 and grabbed continental breakfast where three very thru hiker looking folks were sitting around and talking about Crispr/ Cas9 gene editing. Turns out it people who drive the shuttles! Then a few thru hikers trickled in. Acorn also showed up! I met Acorn around Kennedy Meadows on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014. Then she was a few days behind me on the San Diego Trans-County Trail this winter. Now she’s a few days ahead of me on the CDT. She’s going to slackpack south today, as she’s alreaidy hiked the section form the border back to Lordsburg earlier this week. 

Only four of us thru hikers are going to the border today. Me and three other guys. The German guy I saw yesterday, a guy named Gibbs and a dude named Dillon. We pack our gear and toss it into a pickup truck to be driven to the border. It’s about a three hour drive, half on pavement, half on crazy remote and rough dirt roads. We see a coyote, some roadrunners and pronghorn from the car. Finally at the border we make it to the Crazy Cook monument. Is named after a slab of concrete with an inscription saying someone was murdered here in cold blood by a crazy cook in 1907. We all take photos at the obelisk and then start our hike! Gibbs is off first, then Dillon and I hike together, followed by the German guy.

  • Little horned lizard!Mexico is just behind this fence! Dillon and I chat and hike together all day. It’s nice to find other hikers out here to socialize with. We find lots of cool lizards like short tailed horned lizards and then beautiful greater earless lizards which run to the nearest rock and do push-ups at us. We also come across an abandoned bicycle in the middle of the trail which seemed pretty weird. Midday was very hot, I could almost feel my brain cooking even with my chrome umbrella over me. We took a long break at the first water cache and decided we could make it to the second one about 10 miles away. Little did we know the next section of trail was ROUGH. The trail vanishes and it’s time for cross country travel. We select distant bushes and walk towards them for miles at a time and then take breaks under their shade. The routes all require you going in and out of gullies over and over which is exhausting, all the while the vegetation slices your legs up. Our mileage dropped drastically and it no longer looked like we would make it to the cache before dark. 

Ocotillogreater earless lizard walking through the ocotillo for days!bullhorn!

As the sunlight faded, we took a break and prepared for about 4 miles of walking in the dark/ twilight. The moon was out and it’s actually pretty easy to see everything. We even spotted a herd of cows we had to walk through. They seemed pretty confused. We reached the cache at 9:45 pm and got all the water we need and at dinner. Cowboy camping tonight, so excited to sleep. 

Dillon in the road at night

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