Daily Miles: 11
Total Miles: 609
Even though it was a bit cool and breezy out this morning, the trail started out with a good climb which got us very warmed up. The trail had a lot of debris on it, but we were able to follow it easily enough by looking for i-blazes on the trees. That seems to be the old way of marking a trail, and a lot of these trails are old, so there are often i-blazes to follow.
We got up to the top of the Magdalena Ridge pretty quickly. The wind was blowing and it was pretty chilly, so we put on another layer before starting along the ridge.
The ridge was pretty cool and narrow in a lot of places. We got great views from both sides of the ridge. After several days of limited views, it was nice to be back high in the mountains which were open enough to provide great views.
As is normal for us on days when we are heading into town, we didn’t take many breaks…just one sit-down break, and even then we didn’t take off our shoes. We are usually just anxious to get into town.
We could see the town of Magdalena from the ridge and then continuously as we walked down a really steep and rocky forrest road to get out of the mountains. That always seems to make the walk take longer when you can see your destination point for so long.
We passed through the ghost town of Kelly, which now just has an adobe church and one trailer which looks like someone’s residence. There was a sign for the “town” which claimed a population of 2. We had figured when we went through Klondyke that it would be the smallest town on the trail, with a population of 4, but it seems that Kelly has it beat.
We got into town around 12:30pm and had a great lunch at the cafe. Sadly, they are not open tomorrow during our zero day, otherwise we probably would have gone back there two more times. We picked up some snacks and incidentals at the Dollar Store in town (the only “kinda” food store in town) and then checked into our motel.
So far, we have had two town stops which have laundry available and two that don’t. Unfortunately, there is no laundry service in Magdalena, so we are doing our laundry in the sink for the second time on the trail. We are always amazed and disgusted by the amount of dirt that comes out of our clothes, but this is a dusty trail.
Purple Haze is in the room next to ours and there may be another two hikers in town. So crazy! We’re going to have dinner with Purple Haze, so it will be good to get a bit of hiker socialization.
Rural New Mexico continues to be hard for being able to connect with friends and family. We have no cell service, and the internet is SUPER slow. That has been the case in almost all of our time in NM. It seems that the only cell provider in the state is Verizon, so if you have another carrier, you get no service. It makes it hard for us to call people and to get our blog posts up.