Monday, November 15, 2021

Day 14: The Silver City Zero

May 4: I spent much of the morning today figuring the logistics for the next few weeks. Silver City would be the last real supermarket that I'd have access to for an estimated 18-20 days at the pace I wanted to do. That wasn't to say that there would be no trail towns before then, but there wouldn't be any real grocery stores again until I reached Grants, NM--over 300 miles away. Since carrying enough food for that distance was completely unrealistic, I planned to mail food to myself at two points along the way: Doc Campbell's Post and to the post office in Pie Town. My laptop would be included in a third package that I'd send directly to the Grants post office.

It took me awhile to figure out how much food I'd likely need in each section. There were alternates to consider, small convenience stores that might be of use, a restaurant in Pie Town where I could buy food instead of sending something ahead, and so forth. I needed to figure out both what I needed to send ahead and what I wouldn't need to send ahead. I probably spent a couple of hours trying to figure out all the details and plan the next three weeks of my hike.

Then I headed out to Albertson's again to buy the food that would have to be shipped ahead. I ended up dropping nearly $200 there for food--perhaps the largest grocery store bill I'd ever had. I just never shop for nearly three weeks of food all in one go!

The food going to Doc Campbell's would be my first pickup, so I packed up that box immediately and headed to the post office to mail it. My biggest fear was that I'd arrive before the box did and have to wait around for the box to catch up, so I wanted to get it moving through the postal system ASAP. Between slowdowns at the post office and a weekend coming up later in the week, this box really had to get moving immediately. The other boxes had a lot more time to reach their destinations and weren't so time critical.

Evenstar texted me updates about her mail drop saying that, alas, it had not arrived in Silver City yet but was currently hanging out in El Paso, Texas. California, Texas.... Geez! This package was really getting around! But it didn't make Evenstar particularly happy. She needed her laptop to get work done as well (this was something of a working vacation for her, just like me). The package also contained important things like maps for the upcoming section of trail.

She also texted me that Pez had arrived at the hostel this morning. Yea! Pez was back! She said that they'd were going out for lunch, so after sending food to myself at Doc Campbell's, I headed over to the restaurant to join them at the Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery.

Pez's knee was still hurting, but he reported that at least it didn't seem to be getting worse. We had a good time chatting and catching up about our adventures on the trail. Pez described the route he took into town, and I was amused to learn that he took a route that none of us had taken. As it turned out, Evenstar, Pez, Addie and myself all took different routes into Silver City.

Evenstar had an additional problem--that being the lack of maps. The maps she had printed were in the mail drop now sitting in El Paso and she had tried to load some digital maps to her phone but that didn't work either. I remembered seeing a UPS Store near the Albertson's not far from my motel, though, and offered to print maps for her there in the morning when they opened. We could meet up for breakfast afterwards where I could give her the maps. This was already Evenstar's second zero day in town and she was anxious to continue hiking again tomorrow.

Pez and Evenstar enjoy their delectable desserts!

We only hung out and chatted for a couple of hours before breaking up and doing our own tasks. Pez had just gotten into town and still needed a shower and laundry and such. Evenstar still needed to figure out her own plans for the next section of trail and what to mail ahead. My chores were largely done, however, so I decided to look for a few letterboxes around town to kill some time. I managed to find one, but most of the ones I looked for were missing.

The day was miserably hot, so it was nice that there were plenty of buildings and trees around to provide shade while wandering around. And that I didn't have to carry a heavy pack. It was always nice whenever I didn't have to carry a heavy pack.

Late in the afternoon, I walked back to the Motel 6 where I planned to sit out the hottest part of the day in an air-conditioned room.

Addie texted me late in the afternoon that she had arrived in town and was also staying at the Motel 6. Yea! She'll be my neighbor! =)

I actually don't remember if I saw Addie this evening or not, and I didn't write any note to that effect in my journal, but I think we at least saw each other briefly if for no other reason than to say hi and I vaguely remember giving her some extra quarters to do laundry that I didn't want to carry on the trail, but I don't remember for certain if I gave her the quarters this evening or tomorrow.

For the most part, though, I just headed back to my room for the rest of the day and did some work on my laptop and watched YouTube videos.

I was amused to find the CDT waymarker at the restrooms of the Little Toad Creek Brewery. I had a hunch that we weren't the first thru-hikers to visit this establishment! I also had no idea that the restrooms here were part of the trail!

That looked like a pretty fancy building for such a small town!

1 comment:

Lou Catozzi (PI Joe) said...

You mailing a package to Doc's answers one question I had. Looks like you took the Gila River alternate over the official route. I hear that that route is by far the more scenic and watered route of the two.