Lordsburg to Silver City
I feel at peace on this trail, relaxed, unrushed, no longer cold or lonely, though I’m still spending a lot of time by myself. I’m also able to sleep these days, some better than others.
I woke in Lordsburg after an incredible night’s sleep. I left town a few hours later, accompanied by Kiros, another thru-hiker. I’m so excited to be part of a hiker community again, where the chance of sharing a few miles or a cup of coffee is a very realistic thing again. We left town together, first walking on the shoulder of a highway, and then, at an obscure point in the fence, we tucked under a barb-wire fence and headed cross-country through a wide-open, terracotta pasture. Yucca and various grasses grew from the otherwise inhospitable land, while a herd of cattle grazed nearby. Dirt twisters struck the ground and spun off toward the horizon, a burst of energy to the the calm, dry afternoon. Kiros and I walked together, headed toward the Apache Mountains and Engineer’s Canyon. I learned that he’d grown up not too far from where I had, in Pawling, NY, another trail town. He now resides in New Jersey, and he’s taken quite an interest in yoga, meditation and physical therapy and I found comfort knowing that although I’m trying to find ways to address my ailments, I will inevitably fall foot to injury.
Kiros took refuge from the sun’s harsh rays, and I chugged on, up through a beautiful canyon, with ample shade, a beautiful vista back down the valley, and the celebratory moment of crossing the 100-mile mark.
The next day, after ten miles before ten, I stopped for a break and to read a few pages in a book. What a treat to be able to flip the pages of a book without risking frostbite, and what a treat it was to turn my attention toward the footsteps of another hiker. Shortcut, a kind man from Texas, came around the bend, and I nearly jumped up in excitement. Another hiker! This would, and will be, my approach toward anything with two legs.
The segment from Lordsburg to Silver City has an impressive amount of tread, and most of the time it’s easy to follow. It is a dry, thirsty environment, and continues to follow trail and two-track. At Mud Spring, I chose to take the Old CDT down Deadman Canyon, which up until last year, almost all hikers would take. As it turns out, there is new tread to the north, but my maps, being from early 2015, didn’t reflect the route. I choose to take the old route as it was 20 miles shorter and I need to conserve time and miles while I can. Connect the dots, Mexico to Canada.
And upon hiking this route, this very morning in fact, as I was taking my time to leave camp so that I could write this post, I heard footsteps on the gravel road. I was cowgirl camped on a bench above the road, and peered over the edge at two girls cruising along. Hikers! And what a treat that was, to hike the 13-mile road walk into the sweet, charming and historic town of Silver City. Two girls, about my age, from Vermont and Georgia. Two girls, like me, fueled by hiker hunger and the allure of town. Life is pretty good right now.
Also, on a different note, I was spoiled by the Southwest Desert Genie, a woman from Silver City, who brings a cooler of cold beers and leave fresh fruit and brownies at a bone-dry creek. Thankyou Southwest Desert Genie!