In the distance was a pyramid like hill. I pushed myself today to get “10 by 10”, in other words, 10 miles by 10 o’clock. And I made it! It was a hot day in the New Mexico desert and after 4 more miles it was noon and time for lunch. Very luckily I found a tree (they are very rare) and decided to just eat and then wait out the heat. A siesta! At 3:30 I started hiking again and fortune would have it that clouds appeared and blocked the intense sun intermittently. At the end of the day I was hiking around that pyramid hill.
I woke early so I could get on the trail just before sunrise. In the dark I reached for my shoes with my socks stuffed in them. Huh. That’s strange my right shoe is empty. So I feel around and still nothing. I get out my light and they are gone. The left shoe along with its sock is there. It looks like I had a night time visitor who absconded with my right sock and gaiter. I was robbed! So I got out my extra right sock and was good to go.
I was on trail at 5:30 AM and was doing OK. I have a blister on the inside of my left heel. It’s a nuisance and after a while I just ignore it. Today I was planning to do 20 miles. My first water stop was in 9 miles. After the stop I would be carrying about 5.5L. Heavy! I was going along well with a slight breeze, but the day heated up and I slowed down. On one of my breaks I saw that the next water cache was only two additional miles. So as the day wore on I marched along and then as the heat went up I got slower and slower. By the end my feet were just screening in pain. That is, the dogs were barking. But I made it to the next cache.
I got to the second water cache after hiking about 10 miles. At the cache were ThunderBunny and Swamy. We chatted for a minute and they headed out. I guzzled down about 1.5L of lemonade flavored water and ate my lunch. The rest of the afternoon was a death march to get to mile 36.1 and 20 miles. At one point I was getting wobbly and set up my umbrella for shade and slowed way down. At the end I bumped into TBunny and Swamy under a tree so I sat with them trying to cool off. They are newlyweds and got married on April 23rd. She did the PCT last year. After our break I hiked another mile and will be cowboy camping tonight, that is, sleeping out under the stars.
I was the only hiker starting today. We left Lordsburg at 6:30 AM and arrive at the southern terminus at 9:45. The last two hours of which was on a wash-board mud road. I’m glad I didn’t get sick, but I was so excited. After a picture or two, I headed out. It was quite cool, around the 40s F, but as the sunny day wore on it got hotter. I tried to make it to 20 miles, but at about 6 PM I called it quits at 16.1 miles. My right foot is sore and I hope tomorrow that it won’t be painful.