Day 82 -32 Miles (1328 miles from Mexico)

Wow, the miles rack up quick when you start doing 30s! Over 1,300 already…that could be about half way, but since I have no clue how many miles it will end up taking me to get to Canada (hikers report anywhere from 2,400 – 3,100 depending on what routes they take) I could be saying “maybe halfway” for a while.

Regardless, the 30s are feeling more like 25s did a while ago. I think once I hit smoother terrain those could be consistant high miles. Not that I’m in a rush to get done or anything, you just see what your body can do, and see what your mind wants to do.

Today started with a fantastic surprise, Natty, whom I last saw in Chama, walked by as I was packing up camp! He had flipped up to Wyoming and was walking south. What a treat.

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Natty and I were snow - bound in Chama together

And the morning’s walk on more ridgewalk was spectacular.
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Once I hit the 20+ miles of road walking though, my enthusiasm started to flag. Or maybe it wasn’t so much the road as the heat and bugs. Today began the plague of the biting flies. It’s no good when you are battling mosquitoes, bees, wasps, flies and biting flies. I hid out in my bug condom during breaks. Blah.

But the afternoon was saved by the Richardsons! I was in my final 10 miles and feeling slow when Tim beckoned me over to their RV (parked off the forest road) with a, “would you like some cold water?”

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Trail Angels to the rescue!

Would I like some cold water? I was just contemplating trying to drink the cow water that has reappeared and was evaluating if I could go without and still have a hot dinner, coffee and water to make it into town when I heard these wonderful words.

“Yes, I would love some!”

I walk over to meet Tim and his wife Tammy, Kate and 4 year old Brock (soon to be 5). Once again total strangers offer me so much more than they know. Not only did I get cold water, but Tammy and Kate made me a huge plate of food (which I quickly put down) and some fruit, candy, duritos, and more water to take with me. Better than that they gave me the oomph to hike 9 more miles.

Thank you so much Richardson family! You are now trail angels (and Brock, I liked the Jolly Rancher candies the best too…I ate them all!).

At camp time I made my way up a small drainage that wasn’t marked private (hazards of road walks) and thought I could make something work near this big tree when I noticed some industrious cow had flattened out the perfect napping spot under the tree, just PERFECT for me and my tarp! Thanks cow!

It’s the fourth of July, happy freedom!

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