September 30, 2019
Today was a zero day. I’ve been sick with allergies or something else since last night. My eyes are watering and itching uncontrollably, my nose is running uncontrollably, and I’ve been having nonstop sneezing fits. I haven’t had allergies in years, so I don’t understand what’s happening. I’ve tried Afrin and Claritin D, but nothing is working. Seems I’m stuck with this misery.
It’s been a low key day. Around noon, I caught a ride to Walmart with a friend of Smiles. It was 3.5 miles from the motel. Getting there was lucky and convenient, but getting back was more difficult. After 30 minutes of unsuccessful hitchhiking, I finally had to play, “Hey Mister!” and just ask for a ride. It worked on the first try.
A guy named Darryl gave me a ride back in his FJ cruiser. He informed me that the citizens of Pagosa were not likely to pick up any hitchhikers in town. This was due to the fact that a hitchhiker (not a thru-hiker) stabbed their ride in the neck and stole their vehicle last year. So everyone was wary of hitchhikers now. I certainly don’t blame them.
If whatever ailment is gripping me doesn’t let go by the time I get back to trail tomorrow, it’s going to be a rough section indeed. It’s only 68 miles to the next town of Chama; the high elevations and mostly exposed trail will continue throughout this section. It’s also a bit of a bummer that Chama will be in New Mexico. The road leading into it will be about 3 miles before the trail physically goes into New Mexico. This means I’ll end up riding into New Mexico in a vehicle before I actually walk into it. If I hadn’t been to New Mexico over a dozen times already, I would probably walk to the border, then double back to the highway. Alas, it’s just not that important to me. Either way, this is the final section to New Mexico! Woo-hoo!
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