I woke up early with coffee to try and post more blogs before leaving, such a tedious process at times. The sitting room’s massive skylight brightened as I worked, and in no time it was 9:00, and past time to go. I scoured for things left behind, filled water bottles, taped my feet, washed my face, and finished the pizza with a garnish of leftover fries.
We said our thank yous to Brendon/Diogenes, whose trail name, we’d looked up, was after the Greek propagator of cynicism, and was known for the odd habit of sleeping and eating where he pleased. I wished we’d had more time to hear his story, but maybe next time- we’ll likely be back.
Walking out the front door, we ran into John walking in. “I’m here one more day,” he said, “but I found a way home tomorrow.” “Come with us to get burritos then!” “Ok.”
Then someone else walked up, someone I didn’t recognize at first, but Prana did.
“Bill Cook!” We chatted with him for a bit, about logistics and mindset; what a quirky and nice guy. I sure hope we continue to see him.
At Los Victors we ordered the same round of burritos we got in Lordsburg, but after I drank my liter of horchata, I was too full to eat. Town success, that. We bid goodbye to John, still dumbfounded that we ran into each other, and began our traverse of town.
More murals, cute houses, great porches. Pavement for a few miles, then dirt road, then we crossed onto forest service land. A nice cool breeze tempered the hot sun, and we turned into the forest on a section of CDT trail that looked freshly manicured. Even though we’d knocked out over 6 miles of road without a break, I was bummed my feet hurt already and my blisters were throbbing again. A burrito and some shade provided a needed morale boost, and 4 miles of nice tread, complete with bear tracks (which I took as an auspicious sign) brought us to the turn for our first water, which ended up being close to 2 miles down a side mountain-bike trail. The evening light dripped through the trees, setting aglow clusters of autumnally gold leaves, I suppose that color due to the drought.
The windmill was still in working order, a rarity, and it creaked and clunked musically as the wind turned the blades, the blades turned the gear box, and the gear box pistoned the pump. The tank itself was a big old metal cylindrical holder with an unlocked hatch on the top, and Prana used his climbing moves to haul himself up. “Ooo,” he said, “there’s a lot of rust floating in here.” The water dipped up clear. “Hmm, probably ought to end our streak of not filtering out of these tanks.”
We ate the other burrito and drank our fill, then retraced our steps on the mountain bike trail. It was inexplicably faster on the way back, even with the water weight and uphill, and we camped close to its junction with the CDT proper. I boiled some water and re-poached the eggs in their ziploc bag, a little grossed out by how much raw white had accumulated. Oh my god, these ridiculous eggs. But: some heat, some lemon pepper, some salt, a long handled spoon, and those were actually some of the best tasting eggs I’d had in a long time. Who knew that was going to work out so well? Hopefully we’d avoided poisoning ourselves.
We tucked in as a pack of coyotes serenaded us to sleep.