Wasn’t sure if I would do another post before starting, but I’m so pumped and today was so exciting I felt compelled to tell the tale.
Yesterday, I turned 34. Woo hoo! Happy Birthday to me. Though I spent the day pretty much alone, I celebrated with folks before heading out west and feel pretty lucky to be out here doing what I’m doing! Plus, my present to myself, hiking the CDT! I had a nice relaxing stay at my Great Aunt’s place in Tucson and meandered around town getting all my supplies. Throughout the day, I treated myself a couple times. Some Starbucks, some pizza, just classics like that.
This morning I left early around 6:30am to start the next leg of my travel journey to the southern terminus. Took a free city bus downtown, got a coffee, then walked over to the Amtrak station. I got a notification earlier that the train was delayed, so settled in for a good wait.
At first, I was hanging out on a bench inside perusing on my phone, but after a while noticed some folks outside that seem to fit the look of hiker trash, albeit still clean. Sure enough, I found some fellow CDT hikers (and an Arizona Trail thru’er that had just finished) also waiting for the train. The small group of us hung out together as our train continued to get additional delays. It was so exciting meeting fellow hikers! Gump and Libby from Georgia, Joe Dirt, and 5th Course hailing all the way from Canada (with an Australian accent).
After about 2hrs delay, we finally boarded the train. They put all us smelly hikers in the same compartment.
The ride seemed to go quick and we had nice views of southern Arizona and new Mexico throughout.
We got off at Lordsburg, NM around 3:30pm local time. Our little group of folks was planning to head straight for food, but I wanted to visit the post office in town before they closed, so missed out this time. The guy at the post office was super nice. They had a sign-in for hikers and a map to point out where we’re all from.
After my successful visit, I even had a guy offer to give me a ride across town to the hotel. Turns out this nice citizen, Timmy, works for the CDTC and will likely be the one driving me to the trail the next day. The kindness of the trail community is already showing up!
Once checked in to my motel, I checked out the hiker box (stuff hikers leave for other hikers that they no longer want) and started doing my final prep stuff. Pretty good hiker box. I took some fancy hot chocolate packets.
Mainly, I had a lot of things to square up on my phone before going mostly “off the grid.” And then a last bit of organizing, looking at water sources for the beginning stretch, and making sure I knew where I was heading for my shuttle pickup next morning. Boom Shock-a-locka!
I’m thinking I likely won’t have good cell service for a while, but I’ll post some updates when I can…
Here we go y’all! Time to start walking 😎