11 mi ::
11 mi ::
Clear, sunny, and warm
Peter drives off in the jeep, leaving us to our own devices on the Mexican border. The fear I felt before returns, but is gradually replace with the bliss of starting a great adventure. I mention this to Ann, who says, “You feel jubilant and I’m bitchy. It figures!” But she laughes, and I know it will hit her. The preparation and anticipation of this moment were harder for her, with no distractions from it and no similar experiences to draw on.
We’re awkward with our trekking poles, which neither of us have ever used. I had to talk her into trying them, she wanted to send hers back with Peter. So far they just seem like extra things to carry, but I like having something to do with my arms.
After two miles we pick up the water we left earlier and choose to take the scenic route through the Big Hatchet mountains instead of following the road we came in on.
It isn’t long before we find our first error in planning. I had tried to write out a little script of our first days with all the mileages between water sources. We figure out that I had misinterpreted some of the guidebook mileages, and we really have a lot more miles in front of us than my script included. We talk it over while we munch on gorp, and decide there’s nothing we can do but try to stretch our food and walk more. I wanted our first days to be easy. It was a nice thought. It’s not easy to make things easy on the trail.
We leave our jeep trail, climb a small pass through the thorns, then find it again. The windmill I planned to camp near turns out to be 11 miles in instead of 8, but we make it. The water has a lot of algae in it, but is still much clearer than the last tank we saw.
We’re setting up our tent when a wind comes up and starts the windmill turning. We run down and fill up with fresh, clear water, like a gift for our first day.