8.1 miles hiked, Camping at 667.8 @ 8199 ft
Grizzly’s mate Ben is a superstar who offered to drive us to Cuba so we can get back on the CDT where I left off in New Mexico. We de-splode our packs, eat as much of the leftover food that we over-purchased from the market, charge phones for one last minute and then we are off on the 2h drive.
As we get closer the landscape gets more and more barren. It’s a big flat desert out there and I’m starting to have second (third and fourth) thoughts about this grand plan. I really hope there is some water out there for us to drink! The last updates to the water report were made in May!
We are dropped off in Cuba and start the hot road walk down a sketchy road to the Los Pinos trailhead. We pass lots of worn down and abandoned homes. 2 dogs start barking at us, which is nothing new when walking past houses, until we realise they aren’t in a yard. They run right out onto the road barking and snarling at us; my heart beating enough to bust out of my chest. Holy sh*te. I’m actually more scared than when the grizzly bear came into our campsite. I grip my hiking poles harder, stare straight ahead and hike as fast as I can. They are right at our feet when one of the dogs starts attacking the other and they seem to forget we were their original targets. Eeeeeps!
Faster faster faster we walk, afraid to look back in case that somehow triggers them again. Past more barking dogs we walk, past more shady homes and I’m beginning to think this was all a bad idea!
We take a break in a little patch of shade to eat our sandwiches and cool off a little. It will all be fine once we reach the trailhead in a few miles and enter the forest, away from snarling dogs and sketchy humans.
Up we climb as the clouds gather above. They are moving very slowly so we aren’t sure of we are in for some trouble with the thunder we can hear. Up and up some more and now the clouds aren’t just gathering in the sky, they are the whole sky.
We arrive at the trailhead and walk the .2 miles further to the first possible water. Hooray the stream is running! I fill up our bottles and we actually backtrack to the trailhead where there is some flat ground for camping. The second the tent is up the sky starts exploding around us. We dive in, so happy we made the decision to camp early and dry. The thunder and lightning is insane. So so very loud. I’ve never been in a storm so loud. I’m pretty sure the world is ending outside the tent – we have clearly displeased the Gods and they are destroying the Earth around us. If it were Chris Hemsworth with his Thor hammer outside I wouldn’t actually have a problem with this…pfft Earth? No need for Earth. Carry on Chris Hemsworth.
The thunder booms and the lightning blinds for 2 solid hours before it fades. The rain stays and we are in for a very wet night and a very wet week of hiking. Not sure how we are going to get away with being dry, or getting any miles in as there is a 90% chance of this every day.
Welcome back to New Mexico!