The morning into Quemado started at 3:30am. We had 13 miles to walk, 8 to hitch to town, and a 10:30am post office closing time. After getting to the road to town at 8am, we stuck out our thumbs and watched at least 20 cars pass. A hitch didn’t look good. Then we started jogging to town and the next car that passed, with three men inside on their way to their Saturday morning breakfast together in town, picked us up.
Once at the post office, we organized our food in front of the building as the rest of the small town also picked up their mail and in turn talked to us about the trail. One man in particular, Tom, seemed to know more about the trail than most, and about 10 minutes after he left, he showed up again. It just so happened that our route walked us right by his house about 7.5 miles up the trail, which at that point our route was a dirt road. Tom offered for us to stay in his home for the evening and we quickly accepted.
About three hours later we showed up on his doorstep and met his wife, April, and their four dogs and horses. We showered for the second time on the trail, washed all of our clothes after a very dusty section of trail, toured their greenhouse, and enjoyed hours of conversation with them about travel, hiking, New Mexico…everything. It was so good to get human interaction and even better to eat fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden. The next morning, we all woke up at 4am in order to drive the next 60 miles of trail and set out gallon jugs of water. Our route didn’t have water for 70 miles and we didnt have a great plan for that section until Tom offered to help us set it out. At 9am that morning, we set out on a 41 mile road walk that we finished that evening, technically 12:40am the next morning. What a way to see Quemado! Special thanks to Tom and April, aka Wild Horse and Honey, for all their hospitality, conversation, and instant friendship.