The hotel we were staying in had a good hot breakfast that started at 6am. We knew it was good because we sat at breakfast for three hours the day before eating anything we wanted and a lot of it. Yeti had an egg and sausage muffin then went back for biscuits and gravy then went back for bagels and cream cheese then went back for yogurt then took pastries back to the room. I may have done close to the same thing.
The morning we were leaving we checked the weather report, 77 degree maximum, no need for a dawn start. So putting two and two together we decided we should have breakfast in the hotel before heading out, or was that me that decided, I can’t remember.
I was hopping for sausages for breakfast because I thought I could grab a couple of extras for our lunch on the trail. Unfortunately me and the cook were on different paths today and it was bacon and eggs. Never one to be daunted by a small change in plans, I piled my plate high with bacon. It looked like someone had built a small mountain of bacon on the side of my plate. Even more unfortunate than the cook changing the menu from the previous day was my love of bacon and when I stood to leave the table there was none left to take for our lunches.
We headed out into a cool morning hitting the Main Street just as Halfmile and Deb were walking up. Yeti did one of her loud whistles. The entire street stopped to take a look. That is not saying much in Lordsburg because Halfmile and Deb were the only other people to be seen.
We had warm good mornings all round and headed out of town as a group. The first few miles were along the highway and then we took off across the wide dusty plane heading for the mountains.
It felt good to be back on the trail and with cooler weather the hiking was very pleasant. As we got closer to the mountains we started noticing a change in the vegetation. We started having trees. After hiking without seeing anything but over grown shrubs for the last week it was surprising to see real trees.
We also came across more cactus in flower. Before Lordsburg we had seen several of the small cactus ready to bloom but now the big ones were out. It was a very pretty sight.
By afternoon we were in a different micro climate region and the vegetation had switched back to the harsh desert variety. That is one of the things that is really amazing about this area. The vegetation can change dramatically based on the direction of a slope or a hill sheltering the area from the wind. A lot of the same species exist in each area but they wil be in different stages of their flowering or several times bigger than the same plant in the harsher location.
As the day was cooler we had skipped our lunch time siesta and by 3 we had started the climb into the hills. We arrived at the first well with Deb and Halfmile and we met Popeye for the first time.
So far our water sources have been good. We have been filtering our water from the wells but none have been dirty and brown, all crystal clear which is great. Many people complain about all the cow poo around the wells but as both Yeti and I have had experience with cows and actually like the smell of cow yards, the smell does not make the wells seem bad to us.
After getting water we figured we would hike a few more miles and camp. A few miles ended up turning into 4 and we made it to the next well.
When we got to the well Popeye was filling up his water bottles. Popeye had past us on the way to the well and asked about the shorter Jonathan Ley route to Silver City. I had showed him on the map where I thought the two routes split but after he left I found out that I had told him the wrong place. Given how much faster he was than us I thought we would not see him again so finding him at the well was a relief as I could show him the correct route. We chatted with Popeye for a while finding out a little bit about his life. He is a sailor, hence the name. Originally from Belguim, he is very fit and has competed in an Extreme Iron Man held in Scotland. He has been doing some really long days in an effort to catch up to Uber Dude who he met at trail days.