Stop: Hwy 90
108 total miles
The walk out of Lordsburg follows a paved road for several miles before heading off through open pasture desert. A cow and her calf are running towards me and I think, oh shit. Forget bears, this cow is going to kill me. I quicken my pace as they continue forward. I eventually stop walking and then they stop too. I try walking a different direction and this works. They begin their trot again and continue on their merry way into desert oblivion.
Just before the turn of the century, there was a toothy-grinning dog born into this world and so she was named Y2K. She loved to chase desert rabbits and to hit the trails. She did tricks for treats and she’d hang her head out the jeep window. She would have loved all the jack rabbits that bounded off the trail today and she would have met a fox. RIP Y Dog.
The climb up this alluvial fan is slow and gradual. Plus there’s not a breath of wind which means the 80 degree temps feel intense. The salt collects on my face. The fan meets the mountains for our first major climb of the trail. After 15 waterless miles, the climb to a chugging water pump is a joyous moment. And the water is cold.
We climb for 5 more miles where we can finally glimpse the next mountain range. The mountains are coming! We even hit some cruiser trail at the end of the day as hiker Addy teaches me about alligator juniper, mountain mahogany and sumac.