Distance: 30 miles
start: 6:45 am
stop: 7:30 pm
Elevation: 6888 ft
Others Here: Cloudbuster,
Camp: Grants; southwest motel
In the words of Carlton from Silver City. “If you are going to be dumb, you better be tough.”
We started off with 7 miles across El Malpais (the badlands) lava flow. I actually quite enjoyed the hike even though it was hard on the feet. There was no tread but the trail is marked by cairns made of lava rocks. One has to look carefully since everything looks the same out there. After the lava we were back to dirt road walking.
Our water report said the water cache on the other side of the lava had been removed but we saw a posting in a restaurant at pie town that said it had been moved to a new spot. Well, we should have been more careful. With only about a liter each we reached the other side to find no water and potentially no water for the next 25 miles. Cloudbuster asked a nice tourist from India who have him two 16 ounce bottles. I think CB was completely out so he took one and have the other to me to share. I tried to share it with Kyros and Tick Tock but Kyros refused. So I split it with Tick Tock.
Tick Tock decided to walk the highway, which was 10 miles shorter, into Grants. The rest of us set out through Bonita Canyon. There was a windmill 2 miles in, but it wasn’t running and the tank held about 4 inches of algae and water bugs plus some water. The other two passed it by, but I took on 3 liters after filtering one liter through my almost plugged filter. I treated all of it with chlorine dioxide tablets.
The canyon walk was actually pretty nice. If only my feet weren’t killing me. I had planned to stop short of town and hike in the next day but decided to follow Carlton’s advice. I caught up with Cloudbuster about 10 miles from town in Zuni Canyon and shared some of my algae water with him. Really it didn’t taste so bad. We walked the final road miles together as the thought of the Golden arches spurred us on. There is a McDonald’s on the edge of town and a fruit smoothy was my motivation.
Sadly Cloudbuster, who is vegan, couldn’t drink one because it turns out they contain yogurt. That didn’t stop me and I felt no guilt for enjoying mine.
I looked up nearby hotels, called one and he offered to pick us up. That sealed the deal. He said he could probably bring us back to McDonald’s in the morning so we have continuous footsteps to Canada.
PS. My feet are not happy with me.