Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day 11 - Zero in Silver City.

4/25/2018. About 2-3 miles. :)

Basically we took a zero because we are slow getting chores done in town. 

Don’t count on any kind of decent backpacking equipment replacement. They seem focused on bikes. Not a tent in town, even though they have three stores. We tried to buy some expendables, but they were out of everything since they had bike races last week. 

If you stay near the Walmart you are far from the historic district. If you stay at the historic district you are far from Walmart. 

We’ll leave in the morning. 

Day 10 - Over Gray’s Peak to Silver City

4/24/2018. Only walked about 9 miles today. 

The sunrise was fantastic. But the wind blew that dirt/dust into my face all night. The moon was like a bright flood lamp. 

We got started early and it was a moderate climb up to about 8,000 ft. Then downhill to Mud Springs for our water. 

There was a metal basin with yucky looking water. Down below was a trough that I think gets deep from the tank. It was clear but so shallow we had lots of particulates. We dumped that and filled up 4 liters with the yucky stuff. But few floaters. I used Steripen and AquaMira. 4 liters was overkill. 

After snacks, we started back to the Ley alternate down Deadman’s Canyon. The CDT primary trail was 20 miles longer with no promise of water. 

The canyon hike was nice. But it ended in a wide, graded dirt road. Busy. After a long uphill in the sun and heat, Landstar stuck his thumb out. The second ones by gave us a lift to the highway. Nice folks and we shared a seat with the dog. 

When we got to the 12.6 mile highway walk, Landstar stuck his thumb out again, and the third vehicle stopped. It was a small Chevy sedan with three ladies. I don’t know how we all fit. We got to see Silver City suburbs while they dropped off their friend in the back seat with us. Then they took us downtown to the post office. I’m amazed how friendly and courteous the people are out here. 

We called and got a couple of rooms at the Palace in the historic district. Lots of history. 

After laundry and the post office, we went to Diane’s for dinner. Good but over-priced. 

No air in this hotel so I’ve got the window open and fan turning. 

Good night. 

Day 9 - Windmill to 7100 ft

4/23/2018. About 15 miles today. To campsite up 7200 ft on 8000 ft Gray’s peak. 

Trail magic (soda, water and apple) at base of peak let us cook. Thank you!!

Today was rolling hills, with wooded and exposed sections. Lots slower. Two other teams of guys (much younger) all got the same distance. Some really nice vistas up here.  More people down there than I thought were in this area. 

One of my titanium stakes broke this morning when pulling it out. So I am cowboy camping again. So is Landstar. 

Not a lot else to say. They’ve done a marvelous job on this section of trail. Good night!

CDT Day 8 - Lordsburg to Windmill

4/22/2018 Mile 103.2

We got up and went to McD’s at 5:15 am. And were on the trail by 6:00 am. The day was mostly overcast with a moderate breeze. Nicest yet. 

It was more desert floor walking for the morning. Then rolling rising hills up to about 6,200 ft. A cow tank at 14 miles was ok, but since the cows were drinking we skipped it. 

We stopped at a solar well with a spigot and got 4 liters each before the solar power gave out. The others weren’t so lucky. After dinner I got a liter from the tank. 

Water tomorrow is at 10 and 20 miles. 

We set up cowboy camps next to a downed tree. I got to set on something while eating!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

CDT Day 7 - Zero in Lordsburg

4/21/2018.  I don’t have zeros planned but will obviously take one. With the blister (better), the hacking cough, and serious sinus drainage, I thought this was a good place to take one. Decent motel, good food and adequate shopping. 

I believe the hacking cough is a reaction to dust and sand blown up my sinuses and down my throat. Everyone seems to get a cough, but mine was bad enough it kept me up last night. 

As soon as the stores opened I bought some MusinexDM and saline rinse. I also got a Claritin equivalent just in case. I don’t like walking with medicine, but it’s better than stopping here. 

Terrain is supposed to rise and have more vegetation on the way to Silver City. But the water is supposed to be harder to find due to the extreme drought. I’ll probably have to carry 4 liters again instead of the 2 1/2 or less the last few days. That extra few pounds makes a lot more ‘felt’ weight than you would expect. 

I’ve got everything ready to put back in the pack. So figure I will study our route, eat, and watch TV for the rest of the day. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

CDT Day 6 (4/20) 5th Water Cache to Lordsburg

We set this up for a short 6 mile hike into town, and got here about 8:30 am. 

We dropped our packs off at the hotel and went across the street for breakfast. The potatoes were overdone. 

Back at the hotel, the clerk told us nothing till 2:00 pm, that they were all booked and the cleaning people hadn’t started. We asked about the laundromat (you wouldn’t believe the dirt) and the manager told us they will do laundry for $5. She then told the clerk to book us into two ready rooms. 

Laundry took a while.  But the shower felt great. 

Went out to the Post Office and get my resupply. I also stopped by Dollar General to get some mucinex. The Benadryl and mucinex are helping somewhat. Decided to stay in Lordsburg for a zero. So more tomorrow. 

By the way, the wind is strong but temps fell to lower sixties. 

Late news!  I got a call around 08:00 pm that they had found my camera and someone had brought it to the hotel. It’s in fine shape. Sincere thanks to those who helped!

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a photo of the wide dirt road set in gently rolling, desolate desert. 

CDT Day 5 (4/19) Cow Paddy to 5th Water Cache

This was supposed to be a 16.5 mile day. But we got careless about a mile from the cache and didn’t check our maps. We ended adding over 2 miles and some cross country to get to the cache. 

Today was very hot and windy. Started with some confusing cross country but ended with a long dirt road walk. That is except for missing the water cache turn off. 

More ups and downs than yesterday. And a few small trees. The noonday Water was a half mile off the trail. But there was a decent tree to sit under for a break. 

The rest of the day got miserable with increased heat and a strengthening strong wind. 

The cache, like most, had no shade nearby  4 of us were trying to huddle in a 3’ by 2’ area of shade from the metal cache box. 

I ate a PBJ tortilla but Landstar was too hot to eat. 

Just before dusk we set up our cowboy camps in the roaring wind. It stopped for a couple of hours at 2:00 am, when it got cold, then came roaring back about 5:15 am just before we got out of our bags. 

CDT Day 4 (4/18) 3rd Water Cache to Cow Paddy

This was our most exposed day. A long one with lots of cross country. Very hot, no shade, and too much wind to use the umbrella. The mouth was continuously dry. Drainage from sinuses got worse and the hacking cough started. 

We did another 16-17 mile day. 

The worst part of the day was about an hour in. I went to pull my Nikon W300 out of its shoulder pouch and the pouch drawstring was loose. The camera wasn’t there. I use it frequently so my hypothesis was that it fell out when I tossed the pack over the gate at the water cache (to avoid the barbed wire). Though it could have fallen out when the pack fell over there while camping. This pack doesn’t stand up and there is nothing to lean it against. Every plant has thorns!

[Day 6 update:  someone found my camera and it’s back. Fantastic people on the trail. ]

The rest of the day was miserably exposed. We camped outside a cow paddy with ‘good’ water. I used the Steripen and Aquamira tablets. 

I cowboy camped next to a big thorn bush. It was the only plant over knee high for half a mile. The wind died to a breeze during the hot night. 

CDT Day 3 (4/17) Dry Camp to 3rd Water Cache

I think we went about 17-18 miles today. The wind today got worse all day. In fact in the morning I realized my tarp bag had blown away. Luckily Landstar saw it as we hit the trail. I owe him a beer. 

We hit the solar well mid day. We could see the dust clouds a mile off. It was like sand blasting. The stop was miserable. Though the water was good. 

The rest of the 6.4 miles to our third water cache was miserable.  The wind either blew us off the trail or slowed us by hitting us in the face. The wind was fierce. 

We stopped for the evening at the third water cache. The going was tough and we will cowboy camp. Starboard went on for a couple of miles to dry camp. 

Have a good evening. 

CDT Day 2 (4/16) Water Cache 1 to Dry Camp at 28

I’m going to use my miles vice the official ones. So the mileage I report will be less than what I actually walk. For example today we went about 4 miles past the 2nd water cache. The official route says 15 to 16 miles, but I’m reporting only 14. 

It was so windy today, and I was so tired that this is actually being written on Day 3. On day 1 I tried to pitch my tarp, but the stakes wouldn’t hold, so I cowboy camped. I was in an area with Landstar and Charlie. They both got up 45 minutes before dawn and started off right after it got light. 

We had the option of a 10 mile road walk plus 2 mi cross country or an 11.2 cross country. 9 of the ten of us chose the road. Starboard chose cross country. It put her 2 hours behind us. The road was a mix of good and bad (gravel). I had developed a blister underneath the callous on my big toe. 3 or 4 needle punctures and nothing came out. So I put leukotape around it. 

At the end of the 12 miles was our second water cache. I had caught up to Landstar and we were walking together. We took about 4 liters and walked on about 3-4 miles and dry camped. The next good water was about 9.7 miles further for day 3. So I minimized water use at dinner and breakfast. 

I had used my umbrella for day 1 and half of today, then the wind picked up. I set up my tarp, but the wind was hellacious. My new tarp doesn’t have standard line tensioners and the gizmos I added don’t work. The ground was loose. 

Middle of the night I had to reset one of my stakes. I’ve got a 20 deg F quilt and it’s just too hot at night. Don’t even need a hat (to sleep). 

With the camps we made, there was no place to sit up and blog. It’s too hot till dusk, then the sun drops fast. 

The wind didn’t calm till 2:00 am. Miserable night wit the flapping noise. 

CDT Day 1 (4/15) Crazy Cook to Water Cache

We went 14.4 miles today. Started with 4 liters of water. With 6 days of food the pack was heavy!

They left Econo Lodge in off road trucks about 0630. The 3 hour ride required extreme bladder control because of the bouncing. Take extra water but don’t drink it till you get to Crazy Cook. 

Once hiking we went from cross country to rocky road to streambed. The last two switched off. Guidance to find water cache was off, so I walked through brambles to get there for the night’s camp. 

Since I’m revising this in my down day in Lordsburg, looking back it was our nicest day. Hot but not windy. Some shade along the way. I lost my camera the 3rd of six days, so there won’t be any photos till later. Go to my CDT’18 page and you will see a link to what I’ve got for this section. 

Stakes wouldn’t stay in ground so took tarp down and cowboy camped. Ate all snacks earlier and it was hard to get the Mounnain House down. 

Good night!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fox News Report Typo

I don't normally spend time commenting on anything so trivial.  But I thought this mistake was hilarious.  I was reading an article on titled "A drunk tourist accidentally climbed a mountain while trying to find his hotel," by Andrea Romano.  The tourist was in Italy, and he went up a mountain instead of to his hotel.

How far did he really go? You cannot tell from the article.  But they claim he went up to a closed bar at 1,491 miles above sea level.  He was REALLY HIGH!  Here's a shot of the paragraph and a photo.  They made the mistake both in text and in the photo's caption.

Sometimes, I wonder if they still review articles before online publication.