CDT mile 635.75, miles hiked 2.75
At some point in the night Buttercup heard a pop and about an hour later I awoke to drizzle on my face and a flat neo-air. I blew it up again and laid back down 15 minutes later flat as a pancake. I spent the rest of the evening tossing and turning as I lay on the frozen ground.
The sun finally poked its head above the ridge, we packed up and headed to the highway a big 2.75 miles away. We crossed a mile or two of snow but the cold night had consolidated it so we didn’t posthole too much.
The boys were a bit ahead, I saw the train station and given the snow on the trail I just set a beeline downhill for it. When I crested the hill I saw a large crew cab pickup parked on the side with Bandit and Freefall in the back. I started to run to not miss the ride.
20 minutes later and we were dropped off at the bar/hotel called Foster’s in operation since 1881. The restaurant was decent, we gorged on New Mexican breakfast and then waited around for our room above the bar. We finally got a room, showered and went to the post office to gather our heaping supplies of new winter gear and food.
When I gave my name the guy at the counter said man you have a lot of boxes….besides all my known boxes my friend Space Girl who also hiked the AT in 1996 sent me a big old box of candy and another friend from 1996 Sasquatch sent me a new inflatable pillow since my other got a few holes in the desert. The lady in line with us saw all of our boxes and kindly offered us a ride to the hotel so we didn’t have to schlep them back and forth to the hotel.
An hour or so later a huge storm started up on Cumbres Pass, we saw the sky darken, the lightning start and then it started to snow. Luckily we were all safe on the balcony taking in the show, but we wondered about Greg in Wild, Wildernessie, Cheezy and the French Couple. Don’t you know it but an hour later all but Wildernessie showed up at the hotel.
Wildernessie we were told stuck her thumb out and the second car that went by stopped. It was a past CDT hiker on his way home from hiking the Grand Enchantment Trail and he took her all the way to her destination.
We wrapped up the day with some good old-fashioned drinking at the bar, playing pool, bs’ing with other hikers and just enjoying our time in town.
The next few days are busy ones as we retool our kits for the snow, celebrate the CDT at Chama days and on Saturday night Buttercup, Bandit and I will be speaking in front of the town about New Mexico and the CDT.