October 4, 2019
Today ended up being a zero day indeed – filled with normal zero day things. Chama is a very small town, but it has just enough of what you need. The weather was freezing, rainy, windy, and foggy. I had no qualms with not being on the trail today. The foreseeable forecast after today looks phenomenal! Nothing but clear skies and slowly rising temperatures. Also, from here on out, we’ll be dropping down considerably in elevation. Warmer temps, here I come!
These are also somber times. As I mentioned at the beginning of this journey, a vast majority of the hikers this year are “flip-floppers.” Now that we’re getting into New Mexico, many of them are reaching the areas they flipped from. Sadly, many of the friends I’ve made over the past few months are flip-floppers. Within the next two towns we’ll be losing Twigsy, Smiles, Townie, Animal, Sharkbait, and Leap Frog. Toast would also be getting off within that time frame, but she’s going to her father’s 70th birthday, so she’s getting off trail now. By the time she gets back, we’ll be past her finish point. Soon it will be only Jetpack and I.
It’s strange being around so many people who are about to finish their hike when I’m not. I can see the change in them without experiencing the same changes in myself. They are noticeably becoming more somber, more introspective, more reflective, and trying to figure out what they’re going to do after their hikes. It’s a stark look through a window I will soon be facing myself. However, the bitter-sweetness of the end will be buffered by the anticipation of what comes next.
I’m looking forward to walking into New Mexico tomorrow. We’re planning on a late morning start back to trail, rather than early.
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