Thursday, May 2, 2013

We love the desert....ish

Greetings from Lordsburg! 

Just about to head North!
What an interesting last few days.  We got started from Crazy Cook on schedule and made it to our water cache that night where our parents had left us brownies.  It was a hot day through the Big Hatchet Mountains with two trees.  And one of those might have been a bush.  Sara and I did fine except for a little bit of sweat getting in my eye, but Zeno started having some issues.  He went through some water and was able to cool off some but he did develop a limp towards the end of the day that concerned us.  Aside from that the scenery was bleak, dry and mostly brown.  In far off valleys we could see multiple dust devils that wound hundreds of feet into the sky.  Fortunately both of us remain in Kansas, or New Mexico.  That night we settled down to read a bit and I heard something in the bushes that kept getting closer and then got really, really close.  From the light of my kindle I could see the tail of a small snake disappear under my sleeping pad.  I moved very quickly after that and was able to get out of its way before it bit my jugular, or curl up and fall asleep.  We managed to get a picture that will be posted when we can upload our photos. 

The next day was a rough one for Zeno.  We needed 12 miles to get to the next water and it was all cross country at the base of the Big Hatchets.  He began with a severe limp that occasionally looked better then would get worse after each stop.  We managed to get to the water where we took a two hour break in our 5' by 5' square of shade, but after he could barely stand up.  We were forced to make the tough decision to hitch a ride to Hatchita/Lordsburg and send him home.  He simply would have slowed us down too much to make our next water.  Sara did a great job flagging down trucks and got the first two with one wave.  A rancher took us to Hachita then to Lordsburg when he got off work.  We spent our last night with Zeno at the KOA before our parents dropped us back on the trail in the morning. 

Day three we hiked the length of the Little Hatchets and ended up 21 miles down the trail at our next water stop.  Along the way we tested our water pump in some lovely cow water (we have not died or pooped our pants yet) then found shade in a sweet ghost mining town.  I am fairly sure that my father would get in serious trouble in this town with the open mine shafts.  Towards the end of this day I started to develop some blisters that mole skin was not helping.  By that night the middle of my feet were not in great shape.  I attempted to pop them with my pocket knife scissors, which is not the most comfortable thing. 

The next morning my feet still hurt but Sara set her crusher pace and we took off through the Coyote Hills.  So far this is our favorite area.  We saw a herd of deer and antelope cruise across the trail before we wound out of the hills down towards our fourth water cache.  At this point I was dragging a little so we took a longer break before heading across the never-ending valley of doom (Lordsburg Valley).  Imagine a wide, desolate, sun-baked, horrendous valley, then walk 11 miles across it towards a mountain that never seems to get closer.  That's about what it was.  We made it all but a half mile across for both of our highest mileage days ever, 23, and Sara's first round of blisters. 

Starting walking this morning was fairly comical since we both needed to wake up our feet.  Once we got going we entered the Pyramid Mountains amidst the beginnings of a sandstorm that blocked much of the sun.  We managed the 15 miles through the mountains to Lordsburg where we are now holed up in a motel avoiding the sand and wind. 

So far we are both doing well, aside from the blisters, and look forward to getting back on the trail tomorrow.  Tomorrow we should be camping in an area that has at least 8 trees, 3 more than we have seen so far! We will resupply next in Silver City where hopefully we can upload some pictures.

We are hoping to have Zeno rejoin us in Grants.  Thanks Addie for getting him back in shape for us!


  1. Thanks for the update guys! Bummer on Zeno, but hopefully he's good to go by Grants. Make sure you're letting those feet air out and dry at night- baby powder helps a lot, apply at night, in the morning, and every time you stop long enough to take your shoes off!

  2. Go Zeno! get better and get back to it!

    Oh and go Sarah and Forrest, too! You guys are awesome.

  3. Happy Jack Pad-Kote or a similar product helps a lot for dogs on hikes. Use it daily. It not only keeps the pads tough but it also has antiseptic properties. We have used it for years. Good luck!