April 26th
4th Sam Hughes Cache at NM 113(57.9)-1mi N of Water Box(78.7)
Today’s Mileage: 20.8mi

Those of you who read regularly know that I’m trying to do better with my food intake on trail. Well, I’m not off to the best start. I’m not very hungry and even nauseous I’m sure it’s due to the heat and maybe a sensitivity to elevation. I really think it’s mostly due to adjusting to the heat. I’ve been forcing food down anyway and waiting for my body to adjust to being out here. Good news is that I’m eating. Bad news is that I’ve gagged repeatedly in the process and this morning threw up the water I tried to drink…like immediately. It was only a handful of gulps, but still not good. I gave it 20mins and got down my proper breakfast before we left camp. It’s not a stomach bug. Just feel like I got off a carnival ride and my gag reflex is very sensitive. Other good news is that tomorrow is a town day! Our first trail town, Lordsburg, NM.

We got off to a quick start the first half of the day. It was a straight shot with the most barren and desolate terrain yet.

It was unique and we all liked being able to go into cruise control. The ground was kinda clay-like and we sunk a bit, but it was a welcomed change from rocky terrain. These pictures pretty much explain it all.

The temperature today was the best yet. Low 80s and a breeze. We were aiming to hit a solar water well 13mi from camp and overshot it. By the time we realized it, we were about a half mile away and the source was .3mi off trail. So there was no way we were going back. We knew the next source was 4mi ahead and decided to find shade and stop for lunch. We found a great little spot under a tree and had a two hour break. Normally, this long of a break would bug me, but I had the best service yet and it was great! I got to make some headway on my emails. By the way, all the comments, emails, and Facebook posts have been great! I’ve been able to load them and read them randomly. My plan is to reply to them as best I can when I get to towns.

So then we hit the water source a few miles later. It was a private water tank. People have asked me how we know about water. We have maps that tell us how far we are from important points like water sources. They describe the source and say how reliable it is. With this being a dry year and more hikers on trail, we have to carry enough just in case sources are dry. Here is how we got water from the tank and filtered it. There is a spigot on the side of the tank.

This tank is intended to be used for cattle, so there is no guarantee as to the cleanliness of it. Then hikers use filters or drops to treat the water. I have both for really gross situations. A popular lightweight filter that many of us have is this Sawyer Squeeze. I use Evernew bladders (from Gossamer Gear) because they are stronger then the ones the Sawyer Squeeze comes with and they are clear, which I like. You just twist the filter onto the bag and squeeze it through and you get clean water. Amazing!

We planned to hike a few more miles to have less to get to town tomorrow. After the water tank, the views became more of the New Mexico I have envisioned. The terrain became more rocky which sucks for my ankle, but I loved the views. We got into the reddish, orangish, brown hills with mountainous views in the distance. We even went through what reminded us of a pass in the Sierra.

We ran into Strider again and the group was ready to stop. He mentioned that the solar well from earlier was dry and we celebrated overshooting it. I was still feeling energized and wanted to hike on while I was still feeling good. I also hoped to get service if I got closer to town. I ended up hiking 45mins further and told the group I’d see them in town. I like having my alone time and I like to get to towns as early as possible on town days to make the most of those days. It’s nice to have that quiet time the night before town too. I’m a happy camper:)

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