After a rough start, today, day 5 was a gem. Here are some thoughts from the past couple days.
Lourdsburg experience: Our first town stop yesterday was short and sweet. We had a short list and the Family Dollar store fit the bill. More sunscreen, Gatorade mix, and neosporin. They had sunscreen. But we dined on canned veggies, Pringles, Gatorade, and a 12 pack of Popsicles. We were happy as clams and out of town in just over an hour.
Injury scare: I woke up last night with acute localized pain in my first tarsal (or something like that) and immediately thought stress fracture. It hurt to touch and still hurt in the morning. This could really derail months of preparations. I took ibuprofen and used my poles as crutches, and after an hour of gimping along I wasn’t hurting as much. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the pain won’t be back tonight.
Trail Camaraderie: While we’ve been alone since early on day two, Joe and Raisins, the guys we started with, are still with us. We have been following their footsteps for days, we know they’re likely still together, and we even notice when they make wrong turns, just like we do.
Wildlife: In the desert it was lizards and little dragon-like toads. The lizards come in a small 3 inch variety and a larger 8 to 10 inch variety. Both run around all crazy like whenever we come near. The toads would never be seen unless they moved. They look like little rocks until spotted and their faces are bearded like dragons.
Today we got into some real mountains with real trail. We’re sleeping near 8000 feet elevation compared with the mid 4000’s of the past few days. It is cooler and windy. We also spotted our first bear tracks and scat this evening so we hung our food in a tree tonight and are not looking forward to any nighttime visitors. We also smelled a strong skunk odor this evening, yikes!
Actual tread: We actually hiked on some real single track trail this afternoon with real trees and shade. It was so refreshing and made pushing through the dry desert feel very worth it.
Tomorrow is on to Silver City for our first resupply. We have a 13+ mile highway walk but it should help us make it to town before the post office closes. So there it is, we’re adapting and enjoying even though each day has presented some new challenges.