Day 4: About 2 miles south of Williams Tank to Lordsburg, ~20 miles
When Gabriel and I were planning this first leg we somehow added 7 miles to the Crazy Cook to Lordsburg section. The boys and Roadrunner corrected us by the fourth water cache and we realized that Saturday (today) would be town day.
Dirty, sweaty, and a little footsore. I was mentally ready for Lordsburg. Salt stiffened shirt. Cow poo dust on everything. Thorns in shoes. Blisters irritating feet. Minor nuisances, really. But they’d accumulated to take a toll. As much as I have been loving trail life, I also love not feeling grime and grit everywhere. Time to recharge.
But before that break, time to enjoy the day on the trail.
I love desert mornings and waking to a sliver of waning moon and Venus was a welcome start to the day.
The night before, Gabriel, Roadrunner, and I had camped in a lovely wash approximately 2 miles south of the Williams Tank. We agreed that we’d hike into town together. To avoid anticipated heat and get to town with time to enjoy its luxuries, we started a little earlier than what we’d been averaging.
The day turned out to be cooler, cloudier, and much windier. We crossed rangeland toward Pyramid Peak. The 10-foot contours on the Ley maps make Pyramid and surrounding peaks look impressive and steep on paper to Cascades scramblers more accustomed to 40-foot contours on NW USGS maps. Still, these gentle peaks and hills are pleasant and make for easy walking.
The winds continued to pick up as the day went on. We later learned that we likely walked through steady winds of 20 mph and gusts in the high 50s.
By 2:30 we had views of Lordsburg and a dust storm in the valley. It was impressive to watch the clouds form to the west like waves rolling east across the land turning brown, smog-like, as the dust accumulated and hung in the air. I thought I could see cars stalled on I-10, but wasn’t certain, given the distance.
The last hours of the afternoon we hiked up and over hills into washes rolling NE over easy enough terrain. The challenge was the wind that blew us around. At times when Gabriel and Roadrunner were ahead of me I could see their feet were not aligned with their shoulders, feet blown out from under them. Sometimes we’d pause between steps to brace ourselves so that we didn’t stagger into a cholla or prickley pear cactus.
At last we made it to Lordsburg around 4 pm! I-10 had closed due to the dust storm. With the highway closure, almost all of the rooms at the Econolodge (CDT hiker central with kind and helpful hospitality) were full. The boys had rolled into town a little before us and kindly reserved us a room. (Thank you Seeking!) Roadrunner got that room and we took the second to last room available.
Appreciative of the thoughtfulness of fellow hikers. Clean. Fed. Out of the wind.
Trail life fills one with gratitude.