15.7 miles hiked, staying at the Thomas trail angels, 7608ft
The first light peeks through the old dusty blinds and I grumble while reaching around blindly grabbing at my things to find something to hide it. With a sock draped over my eyes and my earplugs in I manage to sneak in a couple more hours sleep.
I give in at 730am and head outside wearing a borrowed coat in the chilly morning to retrieve my clothes from the line.
I tend to my blistered feet, almost recovered from their submerged days in the Gila, and head up the road with Slip for ‘breakfast’ which really means ‘sit and chew on dry toast and sip coffee for as long as possible while using wifi’. I use the time to sort out a lot of stuff that requires sorting back home, and manage to grab a couple more podcasts for the road walks.
Sadly Slip has decided that this isn’t his year for a second CDT thruhike (he did it about 9 years ago), and has arranged to be picked up from Pie Town this arvo. While we are sitting there half chatting, half responding to our backlog of emails, Nita comes in! The generous Toaster House owner in the flesh. We grab some photos together, I leave my mark on the wall where everyone signs and I shuffle back to the house to sort out my food bag and pack up my things.
It takes longer than I think it should (as always) as I use the opportunity to clean my spoon, backflush my filter and clean my talenti container, as well as generally faff about sorting my bag of tricks.
I say goodbye to Slip and I’m out by lunch which works out well as I only have about 16 miles to get to the awesome trail angels down the road.
I’m feeling good! It’s amazing what an uninterrupted night’s sleep and a belly full of food and water will do! Podcasts on, follow the dirt road, hikety hike.
It’s a fairly busy back road with trucks and cars dust-clouding past every 5ish minutes
Slip drives past with his Dad on their way to Grants for the night. Slip offered cache some water for me at a couple of spots!!! So excited to not have green cow drool to sip on. Yay trail magic! ☺
The walk is uneventful except for chatting to a couple who are finishing their CDT bike with this one last section after a number of years. The Thomas’ (trail angels) drive past me on their way to Pie Town, and again a half hour before I reach their place. “Look for the American flag. We’ll leave the light on!” they yell as they pass.
I find it easily and there is a sign at the front welcoming CDT hikers and bikers to fill up water and to camp on their land.
I knock and am greeted by Angie who invites me in to where John is sitting on the couch; dancing with the stars on in the background. They live in a giant shed that has been converted into a home, full of all kinds of knock knacks, including a birdhouse collection and a whole bunch more American flags! I’d guess John is early 80s and Angie a few years behind that. They were married when she was 14 and he 19! 14!!! Eeps. They do like to chat and I’m entertained by stories ranging from hikers to war to Israel to church (John is a retired preacher) – I’m never quite sure where the conversation is going but it’s nice company. I make moves to retire for the night and I’m offered use of their kitchen so I can have boiling water and hot dinner again! They then lead me outside to a giant rv where I can stay for the night!! Yay!! Another night with a pillow and no draughts.
I’m so grateful for this amazing trail community. As I snuggle down under extra blankets the wind picks up and I hear the TV roar back to life, with the sounds of coyotes yip yipping carrying across the dark.