Date- November 2, 2019
Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 4,491 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 21 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 2,641.7 miles
Weather/Temp- partly cloudy, windy, 50s, 60s
Pain level- zero
Wildlife encounters- coyotes, jack rabbits
Days without shower- 2
Days without laundry- 2
And so the last stretch of trail began. Today we walked out of the final trail town. The next time I’m in a town, this hike will be over. It’s interesting because this was the first time I’ve hiked out of the final town on a thru-hike without hitching back to a trailhead somewhere. It felt more finalized today. We passed buildings, then passed into the outskirts, and eventually the town slowly faded from view altogether.
We all slept in. Jetpack and I had breakfast at Kranberry’s while Fuzz opted for the hotel breakfast again. By 9:30 am we were making tracks out of town.
The hiking itself was easy, yet unique. It was a lot of cross country with either no trail, or very faint trail. There were sometimes short forest service road walks, but for the most part it was just cross country.
DESERT Walking Sticks
There are dramatic mountains in the distance everywhere, but the trail hasn’t taken us into any of them. It has remained mostly flat, keeping us in the cactus, yucca, agave, and scrub brush. There’s virtually no trees. If it were late spring or summer, this would be some very hot and exposed hiking. However, it’s late fall – so the temps are cool and only serve to compliment the excessive sunshine.
I hiked with or around Fuzz for most of the day, and made yet another new yucca staff. When I see a perfect specimen near the trail, I can’t help but check it out and consider harvesting it – before it simply blows over and rots. This newest one is a keeper! So now I’m literally carrying three staffs down the trail. You won’t catch me complaining about it…
The water situation through here was supposed to be bleak; so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. There have been many full tanks and troughs with fairly clear (if not algae filled) water. All the flip-floppers and Nobos had harped endlessly about how bad the water was in southern New Mexico. I’m not finding those sentiments to be true at all, and technically there’s less water now than in the spring. Maybe it’ll get worse in the next 60 miles – who knows…
I saw two lone coyotes at separate times today, as well as more jack rabbits than I could count. I have yet to eat jack rabbit, but damn they are fast!
All is in Sight
All in all, today was low key and bittersweet. The reality of basically being done hasn’t hit me yet. I don’t feel any real emotion. My mind is fairly quiet, with regards to revelations or final thoughts. I don’t necessarily feel excited either. I simply feel focused, imagining all of this will change just before or right at the end. We’ll see. Honestly, I’m ready to go home and see the Little Dog.The plan is to do 25 miles tomorrow and the next day, then cruise 15 miles to the border. From what I can tell, there’s going to be a lot more cross country. I look forward to it!
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