Steep learning curve

We are around 90 miles into the CDT and we have been worked. I’m writing from my tent so I am going to be brief.

We have done big miles so far partially because it is our thing but also out of necessity. It is brutally hot out here. Not only 90’s, but super sunny with no clouds or shade. We have no way out of the sun and have been baked. I have serious looking burns on my legs and Julie had signs of heat stroke on day two. It is certainly a challenge and one we haven’t dealt with quite like this before.

It’s also really dry. Dusty dry. Cracked earth, wind kicking up dirt devil dry. We haven’t had a natural water source yet, have lived primarily off of water we stashed for ourselves prior to starting, along with water from cow tanks. We started off on Friday afternoon and had 25 miles to the next water. Craziness!

It is uniquely beautiful. The desert has its own special, yet harsh beauty. We’ve had great sunrises and sunsets and we’ve seen how tough it is for anything to survive out here. There is something cool in that.

And I had my closest encounter ever with a rattlesnake last night. I was mindlessly following Julie when both the snake and I jumped straight in the air. We were so close to each other and when he landed he immediately rattled and got in strike position while I ran as fast as I could. Adrenaline rush extreme.

Big rabbits with huge ears are common out here. They remind me of little F10 pickup trucks that have been modified. They have little front wheels with ridiculously large back tires. The only difference is the modified rabbit is probably quite functional.

Lastly, it’s quite lonely out here. Since falling behind our friends on Saturday morning, we didn’t see a single soul until Monday afternoon as we passed through the town of Lourdsburg. It isn’t a bad thing but it is new and vastly different than any of our other trail experiences.

I think we’re finding our groove despite the challenging start. We got in 29 today and had a town stop. Julie is getting over her cold and I’m trying to avoid future confrontations with rattlesnakes. The trail life is on and we are loving every challenging bit of it!

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