Sunday, May 6, 2018

Day 22- First Zero Day

Sunday May 06, 2018
Sure Stay Hotel Grants, New Mexico(534.1) Total: 401.9

Mt. Taylor

Finally I took a zero day! A zero day is when I hike zero miles. I stay in town and let my body recuperate. I have been pushing pretty hard since day one. I felt like I needed one at Silver City, but I didn’t take one. After the long day on the road yesterday I knew I was taking a zero. My muscles, tendons, and ligaments need time to heal. I got most of my town chores taken care of yesterday. The only thing I needed to do today was resupply. Luckily, there is a Walmart right across the parking lot. I was able to get almost all of the things I needed there. The only things I couldn’t get were pretty important items. My Sawyer filter froze two nights ago and is no longer reliable as a primary filtering device. The trouble with the Sawyer is that there is no indication that it isn’t working properly since it froze. It is a crap shot. Maybe it is ok to use and maybe it isn’t. I didn’t want to risk it and planned on buying a new one at Walmart, but they were sold out. My plan is to use the Sawyer to remove particulates and then add bleach to remove any remaining parasites and viruses. That will keep me safe, but it is inefficient. The other item I sorely needed was a new canister fuel. I think I have just enough left to make it to my next stop, Cuba, NM, but it will be close. I have been using the same canister since I started the trail. I usually replace it when it is half empty. Walmart was also out of the fuel and no where else in town sells them. It won’t be the end of the world. I will just have to eat cold ramen if I run out. I was able to get a lot of new types of food. After hiking 2 long distance trails I am pretty sick and tired of most types of hiker foods. I’m looking forward to trying new things. I just hope these new items work out. For the first time ever I am leaving town with no M&Ms, Oreos, or Sour Patch kids. I have a pretty big variety of granola bars. Hopefully I won’t get tired of them. 

A dream resupply location

Turtle and I didn’t go to bed last night until almost midnight. We stayed up late talking and hanging out. Personally, I think I was just over tired. When I get that exhausted I’m too tired to sleep. I didn’t bother setting an alarm, but I was up by 6:30. Mangus texted us around 7am and suggested we meet at Denny’s for breakfast. I had 2 pancakes, 2 eggs over easy, hash browns, and sausage. My hiker hunger comes and goes, but apparently it appeared today. After breakfast I came back to the room to figure out what I needed for my resupply. With a plan in mind I went to Walmart. After my resupply was done I had to write my blog post from yesterday. I was a bad blogger and didn’t get it done before I went to bed. The next several hours were spent lounging around the hotel room. I checked email, did some mobile banking, looked farther ahead for the hike, read a blog from someone’s 2013 CDT hike, and downloaded a few podcasts. I also called a local trail angel to see if she knew where I could find canister fuel. Unfortunately, Walmart was my only option. Carole Mumm, the trail angel who left out the water cache yesterday told me about another cache she and her husband maintain farther along the trail. She even sent me a hand drawn map to its location. Thanks, Carole. 

Picture from yesterday 

Surprisingly, my legs felt great this morning. I wasn’t very sore and for the first time in forever my hiker hobble was gone. I was toying with the idea of taking another zero tomorrow, but I’m bored with town. Grants is really spread out and everything seems to be 2-3 miles away. I don’t mind the walk, but there is a very dangerous highway that has to be walked. Turtle and I almost got hit by a car on the way to the hotel yesterday and I was in no hurry to repeat that experience. I really wanted to go and see the new Avengers  movie, but they don’t have Uber or Lyft in town. Hopefully it will still be playing next time I’m in a town with a theater. 

Bessie eyeballing me a few days ago

Since I had some down time I decided to go sit in the hot tub. I smuggled a beer into the pool area. It was so nice to soak in the hot water. My remaining aches and pains were greatly soothed. When I got out I really could have taken a nap, but I didn’t want to mess up my sleep schedule. I decided it was time for an early dinner. The only thing within walking distance was Denny’s so that is where I went. Turtle, Mangus, and Shiloh caught a ride with Mangus’s wife, who is visiting, to a local Mexican restaurant. I was still working on my blog at the time so I didn’t go. I’ve never eaten anything but breakfast at Denny’s. My dinner was pretty good, but I guess it is hard to mess up a burger. I had a burger with hash browns, eggs, and jalapeƱo queso on it. It was a very tasty creation. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone not hiking 12 hours a day. I think it was around 1,300 calories. 

Breakfast on a burger with bacon cheddar tator tots 

Trail angel Nita, who owns The Toaster House. I think that is a dragon fruit 

Rehydrated Veggie Lasagna 

Hiking along the Gila River

Cool looking tree in the Gila. It was so white it reminded me of a Weirwood tree from Game of Thrones

I had really hoped to get caught up on answering comments on my blog and emails, but I just ran out of time and energy. I would like to thank everyone for all of the comments. I like getting cell phone service and seeing everyone’s comments on my blog posts. I’m glad you all seem to enjoy my rambling thoughts. I have also received some generous gifts and donations. Thanks to Margie and George Hernandez, Bob and Theresa Brisko, and Larry Riggan. Your gifts and/or donations were very much appreciated. 

Just remember, no diving in the hot tub lol

I plan on taking my time to leave town tomorrow. I’m doing an alternate to hike up Mt. Taylor, elevation 11,300 feet. I’d like to hike to the base of the climb and camp there. I don’t think it is feasible to get up and down the mountain before dark. Whenever I leave town my pack always feels extra heavy and it takes me a day for my body to adjust back to hiking life. Who knows, I might even feel sassy enough to do a sunrise summit of Taylor. 

Fun facts: 
On day 22 of the Appalachian Trail I was at mile 261.3. I didn’t hit 400 miles until day 34

On day 22 of the Pacific Crest Trail I was at mile 341.9, but I had to miss 41 miles for a fire closure. I didn’t hit 400 miles until day 26. 

I have cowboy camped 5 times, setup my tent 10 times. I’ve stayed in 4 hotel rooms. I also stayed in 1 hostel, and 2 campgrounds. I expected to cowboy camp more than setup my tent, but it has been too cold for that. 

“We sleep, but the loom of life never stops and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up tomorrow.”
- Henry Ward Beecher

If you are interested in checking out some of my photography my instagram name is WanderingWoman8



  1. Loved your fun facts. What a difference in mileage! You are very welcome for the donation. George and I love reading your blog, its very entertaining.
    Stay safe my friend.

  2. Anne and I will be keeping track of your travels! Currently drinking coffee with your mum and dad on the porch and following your blog. You are amazing!I'm exhausted just reading about your hike...

  3. Brewery closed=major bummer!!
    Enjoying following along as usual!

  4. It’s fun to read your fun facts. You had a busy day just getting your blog out. What fun to see 2baddogs. You had a nice hello from a follower. I remember you corresponding with him about gear. Walk safe. LU

  5. You’re welcome Yoda! Glad you had a relaxing and productive day though that Walmart needs a better inventory manager! Great pics! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy!