Day 142: Silver City, NM – Comfort Inn Burrito Camp to Comfort Inn Waffle Camp
Miles hiked: 14.5
Total miles: 2567.1
One night in Silver City turned to two. It just had to be done. The proximity of friends with cars allowed SpiceRack and me to have another night of eating fresh burritos while also hiking a good chunk of trail. It was actually paved highway the whole way, but the walk through Silver City was kinda alright and the road out of town felt like a highway to the stars. A classic hiker party capped off the day and thoughts of ‘the end’ chased me to bed. Each day is precious. Treat each burrito like it is your last.
Crappy town sleep. Too hot, dehydrated, headache, yada yada yada. You’ve heard it before. I suck at town. Fortunately, my appetite was unaffected and I laid waste to the breakfast buffet. It was around mini-waffle ten or eleven after two piles of potatoes that I finally became disgusted with myself, leaving to wait out my syrup-sweats in the room until the next food-related activity. That happened to be a resupply run. Tired of the same old processed crap, Spice and I have agreed to eliminate bars from our bags for the rest of the trip. This made for some interesting and delicious selections that I am truly excited to try, but my shoulders will pay for my gluttony.
After a bottle of booch and Dr. Pepper, my headache was gone and I felt like a god. Ready to move. We packed up a little while Campfire had one heck of a time trying to figure out how to get back home to California. The dudes, with their friend from the PCT, Shenanigans, out for a visit, swung by to collect her for the ride back to Doc’s to grab her rental. All of a sudden there was a plan to keep us in town for one more night. Spice and I would walk the 14.5 miles out of town down the highway before being brought back for the night. Simple enough. I was happy to leave my heavy food bag behind.
They got out of there, then Spice and I got out a little later. We gotta move. It was 3pm, not much daylight left. First stop, Don Juan’s for road burritos. I lost control and bought four. I walked on, secretly comforted by the warm weight of yummy burritos on my back. We passed through the university then by some nice homes on the way out of town. Silver City seemed aiight. Hwy 180 was a little busy for my taste, but gentle from an elevation perspective. We cruised, heading straight into the setting sun. How? How did we still manage to end up night hiking today? Haha.
The traffic died down with the light. I stopped for a burrito and an extra layer. I lost Spice into the inky darkness that stretched from my feet to the stars. Walking without headlamps, well before moonrise, few artificial lights in sight, I allowed my mind to pretend that I was a spaceship on an intergalactic journey, speeding near the speed of light into the unknown. In such darkness, there was little indication of my true velocity. I could have been a spaceship, or just a head floating in space. The white line painted on the road kept me on course even with my gaze pointed to the infinite depths. The occasional passing car brought me back to earth.
We met Campfire at the rendezvous point with close to perfect timing. The drive back to town was laughably quick, taking us 20 minutes to travel what had taken Spice and me nearly 5 hours to walk. I slammed another burrito, then we met the dudes and Shenanigans at their room in the adjacent motel. We drank a beer or two, but succumbed to the usual exhaustion that dogs all thru-hikers. Every night feels like a late night out here. It was a fun, but short party. A good way to end the adventure for Campfire, who was feeling much recovered from a day without living in the dirt.
Back to our room for some needed rest. The end is on my mind. Maybe a week left? How did that happen? I don’t want it to end. Not this time. But time waits for no one, and if I’m not hiking, then I want to be hiking. I need to hike because that’s what I do. I don’t want to hike because soon there will be no hiking left. I’m trapped. Like the power I felt while walking in the Gila, I’m caught in the flow. I can’t swim upstream. I can either resist the rush, clinging to the past before it happens, or I can enjoy the ride while I still have it. These days are sweet. They are limited, but at least I have them. The good old days. We already live in the good old days. I’m grateful that the CDT is reminding me of this. What will remind you?