Daily Miles: 19
Total Miles: 2062
It was a really warm night last night. It was probably the first night of the trail where SweetPea, who is a notoriously cold sleeper, actually took her socks off before falling asleep.
When we got up this morning, it was still dark and we could see the town lights of Hachita in the distance. It’s not a town that many hikers go to, but it is an option. We were camped not too far from the state highway that goes to Hachita, but it seemed like only two or three cars passed per hour, which is probably an indication of how little is there.
We came to our first water cache about a mile and a half into the day. At this point on the trail, the only water sources are the caches, so they are very important. We were grateful today that both water caches we passed still had water in them.
After the water cache, the guide posts we had been following – the white, reflective, metal signs – were not used anymore. Instead, for the next ten miles or so, we had old wooden posts to follow. The problem was that for much of the ten miles, the posts were very spread out and many of them had fallen down, becoming basically useless. So, it was really hard to follow the trail and we ended up multiple times getting cliffed out at washes. The walking was quite rough and rocky and our pace really slowed. As Beardoh put it, that stretch was a bit demoralizing.
But we made it through and made it to the final water cache (and final water source) of the trail. This cache had the least amount of water of all the caches…only 5 gallons after we took our water. Hopefully it will be replenished soon, as it would be very unfortunate for a hiker to come through and find it empty.
After the cache, we were walking in a wash and encountered two hikers, Sani and Dreams, come towards us. Turns out they are both southbound hikers, but decided to do this last stretch from the border to Lordsburg northbound. They recognized our trail names from the comments we had written in the navigation app about the water sources. They thanked us for the info which was really helpful to them. We were glad that we could help other hikers behind us…we really rely on hikers in front of us as well for their comments on water.
We continued walking in a wash for several miles until it turned into a two track road. There we came across two guys who were out scouting big horn sheep for a guy in their group who had gotten a hunting permit through the lottery system. One of the guys had a telescope focused on a group of four big horn sheep near the top of a nearby ridge. With the naked eye, you couldn’t tell that there was anything up there, but he let us look through his telescope and you could see four sheep (two of which were rams). It was pretty cool to see them through the telescope. It was the first big horn sheep we have seen on this trail.
After chatting with them for a bit, we continued on to find our campsite. Our walking continued in the wash and that is where we are sleeping tonight. It is hard to believe that we are sleeping only eight miles away from the border.