if you've checked out the tracking on this section you'll see some gaps. That is because my tracking turned itself off at one point amd I didnt notice until the evening, sorry about that.
The first day out looking at the topographic maps was basically going to be following some flat gravel roads out of town. Then catching the trail for an approach up into the mountains then things would get hilly.
The first problem of the day was the map was straight up wrong and had the road in the wrong place. This cost me some time as I wandered finding an alternate route. A couple other hikers had thebsame problem and we hiked together for a couple hours.
We decided that instead of following the nice road oit we would try amd save time.my taking a more run down dirt road that on the map was a straight ahot to the trail. Ultimately, it took us the wrong direction and we had to tresspass across several fields and avoid some dogs to get back on route. Sounda like it would have sucked but honestly, it was awesome.
One thing I love about this 'trail' is how unmarked and undefined it is. Yea we went the wrong way, and we got to make out own way back traveling cross-country in the New Mexican desert.
One we gained the trail to approach the mountains I took a break and the other two carried on. This is when I realized how misleadimg topographical maps can be. Yes, there was a reasonable consistent climb for about 1200ft on average but the map failed to show how often you'd be dropping into little.ditches and reclimbing. It was a lot of drop 10 feet down, climb up 12 feet, and repeat. So you'd be climbing on a whole but there was a lot more climbing that was not on the maps.
I arrived at a cattle trough with water just up in the mountains and took another break. About a half hour behind me were the two hikers that went on ahead mich earlier. I guess what I lack in speed I made up for in proper navigation. We apent aboit an hour at the water, then am hour hanging it with some camped hikers a bit firther up trail. Ending the day with a final five miles up and down over a few 500ish foot hills, and a brief scramble to the peak of one.
Finally ending the day with me draggimg myself the last mile to a water source. I say dragging because even though physically I felt stromg, my knees and feet were doing great I was out of breath from all the day's climbing. I really took it one step at a time and forced myself to reach the water tank.
I slept very well that night.ams good thing because the next day was long. I jad a pretty late start only getting up as everyone else was leaving. I cameled up on water carrying about 2 gallons of water as the next source was unknown. The terrain was as expected up and over the the mountain, down to the highway, then up onto a Ridgeline and down again.
Except after the highway I made it onto a dirt track that the CDT followed but missed the turn off onto the trail. No problem, I thoigh as I looked at the map and saw the road would get near the trail later.I opted to walk this sand road. Let me just say, I hate sand right now, its hard to keep a nice pace when with every step you slide a little backwards.
I followed this road for a bit and realized it wasnt gaining elevation as it should have been. Surprise, surprise I was yet again off on another 'unplanned alternate.' They say on the Cdt you should expect to get lost every day, it seems true. Almost every hiking day I have ended up somewhere unexpected. Now, I have not been completely and utterly lost withoit hope but I jave several times realized I was not where I though I'd be and would have to make my own route back. Thisnwas no exception as I got to bushwack through cactus and prickly shrubbery to regain the alternative route I was taking.
I did make my way back on trail trail and to the start of a 25 mile road walk. Walkimg a dirt road is one thing, walking pavement however is terrible. Hours of pounding on your feet. It was already late into the day when I started, I didn't plan to make it into Silver City that night. Instead, I planned to sleep in the ditch somewhere along the way. I forgot that in the desert everything is trying to poke you though. I walked late into the evening and tried to setup a stealth camp but the weeds were poking holes in my tyvek ground sheet and imto my back.
I opted to get my headlamp out, my jacket, and gloves on and hike through the night instead of trying to sleep on that.