Water Cache #4(58.3) to Stealth Site(81.6) 23.3 Miles
Daily up/down: +1,195.9ft/-1,072.5ft
Total up/down: +5,267.8/-5,097.8ft
It got really cold last night. The wind finally settled down, but around 2:30 it was cold. I have been sleeping very comfortably the last few night. I have extra layers I could put on, but I haven’t felt that it was necessary. I hate getting out of my sleeping bag and rummaging around in my pack once I’m in bed, so even though I was was cold I didn’t get up. I got up around 5:45 and it took me awhile to get out of bed. I really don’t like starting off my day cold. I eventually got up and was out of camp by 6:30. I didn’t expect to have to start off a day in the desert by wearing my puffy jacket. I almost stopped and put my gloves on.
Another great sunrise
As soon as the sun was fully up, I was able to stop and take my jacket off. Within 2 hours I knew that it was going to be a scorcher. There was absolutely no wind today. There wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. I quickly missed my cold start to the day. On the PCT I would wait out the hottest part of the day sitting in the shade. That really isn’t an option out here. Shade is extremely hard to come by. After about 5 miles a nice guy named Mike P caught up to me. He started the day after me and is pushing out big miles. He was hiking the Appalachian Trail and was forced off trail in Vermont due to high snow levels, so he decided to come and hike the CDT. He hopes in finish the trail in 100 days before jumping over to the PCT and then finishing the AT. If he can accomplish that he will be one of only a few people to hike a calendar year Triple Crown. We hiked together for a few hours reminiscing about the AT. Since he already has his trail legs I knew that I couldn’t keep up with him all day. I was pleasantly surprised to keep up with him for over 10 miles. We hike about the same pace, but I require a lot of breaks during the day. We parted ways when I had to stop and filter water. I hope he accomplishes his goal!
Not the worst source I’ve seen, but the yuckiest I’ve utilized
Without Mike P to help distract me, the heat of the day really started getting to me. It was difficult to stay hydrated because I didn’t feel thirsty and my energy levels were extremely low because I wasn’t eating. I had zero appetite and my stomach was upset most of the day. I have adapted my neck wrap to keep the sun off of my neck and ears, but it is stifling.
My desert attire
I’m hiking in a long sleeve shirt and pants since I started with no base tan. I have been religiously applying sunscreen as well. I finally remembered that I’m carrying an 8 ounce umbrella and decided to break it out. I tried using it on the PCT, but I didn’t like the hands free setup that I had. It took me awhile to adjust to using it, but by the end of the day I was glad I gave it a chance. I’m not sure that it keeps me any cooler, but it definitely keeps me from getting fried.
The rest of the day was kind of a blur. I hiked cross country on poorly marked trail and I walked a lot of miles on dirt roads. After Mike P and I parted ways I didn’t see another human the rest of the day. I saw a lot of cows and I heard a rattlesnake, but didn’t see it. I keep seeing these weird holes in the ground. They look like some kind of a den for a medium sized animal. My best guess is a foxhole.
Anybody know what could live here
My goal for the day was to hike at least 20 miles. That would give me a nice easy hike into Lordsburg in the morning. Mike P was trying to get me to hike in tonight, but I knew I couldn’t hike 27 miles in this heat. My body just isn’t ready for that. I already have horrendous heat rash on my legs and feet. Today only made the problem 10 times worse. I was ecstatic to hike 23 miles today. I have worked hard to earn a nero (nearly zero miles hiked) into town tomorrow. I’m only 3.8 miles away. It will be just as good as a zero. My body definitely needs a day to recover. The next leg into Silver City promises to be even more brutal. I’m beginning to understand why the slogan of this trail is, “Embrace the brutality”.
These cows weren’t too pleased to be sharing their water
Home for the night
There are a lot of dead cows out here. Somebody kept leaving cow parts hanging on the cdt trail markers
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” - William Barclay