Took off cross country to ease the boredom of those blasted roads and got tore up in the spiny undergrowth. Not as pleasant as coffee in the morning but it sure does wake you up fast. Waves of grasshoppers sprung up as I walked and they fluttered around, often right into me. Cows looked on as I flailed at the air and stumbled around cactus.Into Hachita! All the stores are closed in this tiny town, but one building had a handpainted sign advertising cold soda pop. I peered in the open door and saw an ancient man sleeping in a recliner chair, but I couldn’t bear to wake him up. Swung by the P.O. and met the nicest postmaster I’ve ever encountered! Mailed home my stove and water filter and left some food in their hiker stash. The postmaster offered use of their phone and insisted that I use her calling card even though I tried to use mine. What a fantastic person.Onto the home stretch. Walked highway 81 south for 10 miles until I cut cross country to a windmill for water. Headed through the brush, crossing many cow paths before crossing a cow path with a CDT blaze! What luck to find that blaze in this maze. Eventually got to an old dirt road and headed on down. A rumble behind me turned out to be a 4×4 pickup truck rushing down this bumpy, eroded path. I couldn’t believe they were driving so fast on this road and wondered what the rush was. One minute later a caravan of three box trucks, so top heavy with tarp covered loads they were pitching like boats at sea, came barreling down upon me. Holy cats, what was going on? They were going so fast, bouncing so violently in the ruts and potholes I thought for sure they would tip over. I’m 10 miles from the border in the middle of nowhere; they’re probably delivering pizza. Instead of simply following highway 81 to Antelope Wells I decided to hike the CDTA “Crazy Cook” route. Ending at a manned border crossing held little appeal and I wanted my finish to be quiet and alone. This means I have a long hike to a road to hitch out of here, but whats a few more miles after you just walked from Canada? I’ll complete this journay tomorrow at the border in solitude. Like every other thru hike I’ve done, I’ll walk to the terminus alone. (hours later..) Sleep evades me. I’m chain-smoking and sipping cheap bourbon from an old soda bottle. This is my last evening on the CDT, the last night to watch the stars and feel the dirt under my bed until next year. Tasting freedom, no…wallowing in it for over 4 months, and now it comes to an end. How else could I feel? How could I not want this night to last forever?
- Starting Location: CDT
- Destination: CDT