What a whirlwind few days! Since arriving in Silver City on Friday afternoon it has been a smorgasbord few days of connecting with hikers I’ve known on past thru hikes, meeting new hikers that will be on the trail this year, and soaking in the goodness of Silver City, NM.
Upon arriving at our destination on Friday afternoon, we immediately headed to the Little Toad Brewery where they were not only holding a happy hour celebration for us, but unveiling a special beer just for the CDT, the Divide Trail Ale! Yum.
Hikers united over good beer, a killer raffle, and a kick-ass band playing everything from Tom Petty to Heart and everything in between.
We danced, ate pie, and lived to tell the tale.
Saturday was a full day of vendor booths, where I sold a grip of hikertrash swag, and connecting with the community who came out in full force to see what this thru-hiking crowd was all about. And I have to say, this is one of the most welcoming communities I’ve ever hiked through (ok, I haven’t hiked through yet…that will be in a week or two, but you know what I mean.) Kids and teens and families and retirees came out to see what we were all about, and as they marveled at the weird but interesting hikers that had descended on their town, and we marveled at the eclectic, artistic, and truly beautiful community we found.
I had a chance to reconnect with multiple folks: Erica, one of my trail crew from a season building trails in Colorado 8 years ago was now working at the Little Toad; Bams, a thru-hiker I met on the PCT in 2006 was now a brewer at the Little Toad; and Restless, another 2006 PCT thru-hiker who is also hiking the CDT this year and who had already hiked into Silver City from the border of Mexico. Mint!!!! One of the things I love most about hiking over the years is running into trail friends in the most unexpected (in this case expected) times. I hadn’t seen any of these folks since we spent time on the trail together years ago. And we can pick up where we left off. Nice.
Today we had a mellow start of breakfast, putzing around, and then a short hike with some folks from Silver City. It was wonderful to connect with everyone and tell stories from our numerous hikes. Snorkle, Bearclaw, and I regaled the local hikers with our experiences, and we got to enjoy a real connection to the area. Very nice.
The most excellent day was ended with a massive bbq at Carol & Richard’s dome paradise, some wonderful trail angels; the Warrior Hikers and more came together and we ate ribs and watched the sun set over the New Mexico desert. This is what it is all about.
I set up my new SMD Deschutes Cuben Fiber shelter for my first night under the tarp, and will sleep long and dark and dream of the trail which is close enough to touch.