Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Day 36: Pushing up shopping carts

May 26: I woke up especially early today to check out a total lunar eclipse at 5:16am, but thin clouds obscured most of it and during totality, I couldn't even see the moon lighting up the clouds... so I soon went back to sleep.

When I woke up again later in the morning, I felt good. I still felt no side effects from the vaccination yesterday except for a slight soreness if I poked the jab site or lifted my arm in the air. No big deal, though, and I cleared myself for hiking today. Back on the trail again!

But I wasn't in any particular rush and took my time leaving the hotel, checking out just before the checkout time of 11:00am. Pez and Evenstar also waited until the last minute to check out, so we found ourselves all leaving the hotel within about 10 minutes of each other.

Evenstar and I had to drop by the post office to mail our laptops ahead, and she had tried calling her trail angel to give us a ride and save ourselves the trouble of an otherwise unnecessary mile or two of walking through town, but he was out in Gallup and not available. So I tried giving my trail angel, Michele, a call, but she reported not feeling very well and couldn't do it today either. So then I pulled out my smartphone and tried to get an Uber or Lyft, but "no drivers" were available. Argh! I don't even know why I bothered with the apps. I installed it for the rare times I needed a ride in a trail town, but they never seem to have drivers available. I had tried using it on the Pacific Northwest Trail, on the Lone Star Trail and now this trail, and every time I couldn't get anyone to give me a ride.

With all of our options exhausted, Evenstar, Pez and I started the long walk into the center of town. Evenstar and I really wanted a ride because we both had big boxes to carry to the post office, so it was somewhat fortuitous that she noticed an abandoned shopping cart next door and got the idea to throw our packages in it and just push it to the post office. Sweet!

Pez thought we were crazy, but Evenstar and I thought the idea was brilliant. =)


Evenstar pushes a shopping cart with our packages that needed to be mailed.

Evenstar started pushing the cart, and it was incredibly loud and noisy. This cart had some trouble! It was a relatively small cart as well, and we figured it might have been from the Dollar Tree not far away--but any identifying marks had long gone missing.

When Evenstar tired of pushing the cart, I took over. And when I grew tired, I offered to let Pez push it for a bit. None of his stuff was in the cart, but maybe--just maybe--he wanted a unique experience. =) He passed on the idea, however, and Evenstar took it over again, pushing it the rest of the way to the post office.

Before we got to the post office, Pez peeled off to the north on his own. The post office was out of his way and he didn't want to walk anymore than absolutely necessary.

When we got near the post office, we ditched the shopping cart by a dumpster. We didn't really care what happened to it. If a homeless person wanted to take it, go for it! If someone wanted to throw it in the dumpster, they could do that as well. We didn't really care. We were done with it, though.

After mailing our packages ahead, Evenstar and I backtracked to the road where Pez had peeled off from us and continued our hike. The road was a huge construction zone and closed to traffic, passing by the library which I had visited the day before, then we headed to the edge of town.

Before leaving town, the trail went by a Smith's grocery store, so we stopped there. Evenstar wanted to go in and buy lunch while I sat outside watching our packs. I had her pick up a cold Coke for me as well. It was miserably hot already! But I wanted to eat the food in my pack because it was far too heavy.

Lots of construction going on along the trail!

Evenstar's trail angel drove by, spotting us sitting outside eating and drinking and chatted for a few minutes. We both thought it was a little weird that he hunted us down. Or at least hunted her down. He had just gotten back from Gallup and seemed to be searching the trail out of town for her, which seemed more than a little creepy, and I think she was happy that I was walking with her at the time.

We eventually left, leaving Grants behind for good. Most of the day, we followed a moderately busy highway out of town, which passed by a prison. Signs warned not to pick up hitchhikers (too bad for thru-hikers wanting to hitch into town!) More oddly, another signed seemed to call it the "Cibola Hospitality Center." If that's their idea of hospitality, I'd just as soon prefer to avoid it!

Evenstar and I largely walked at our own pace along the road but never leaving sight of each other.

Later in the afternoon, we reached a trailhead and finally got off of roads. At the trailhead was a trashcan which I was excited to finally see. On Guthook, people were raving about this trash can. I knew the "reviews" were in jest--but they were pretty funny, and it made me actually want to see the trash bins that caused so much amusement. =)

It was a standard-issue trash can built to resist bears and other animals, but nothing particularly extraordinary. It was what I expected pretty much, but I still needed a photo of myself throwing some trash into it. =)

And from the trailhead, the trail climbed steeply about 1,000 feet up to the top of a plateau where we arrived shortly before sunset and set up camp. The location had a great view looking down from the plateau back towards Grants and down toward the prison. And how exciting would it be if there was a prison escape while we were camped up here?!

The only snake I saw all day was this dead one on the sidewalk. How did it end up on the sidewalk, though? Hmm.....

A park at the edge of town actually created official signage for CDT hikers pointing us to water at the local dog park!

The fire hydrant at the dog park. Cute. =)

I pretend to hitchhike by this sign telling people not to pick up hitchhikers. Talk about a tough place to hitch!

You can call it a "hospitality center," but I'm still going to call it a prison.


Kristin aka Trekkie Gal said...

So where is the photo of you throwing trash into the amazing trash can?

Michael said...

I was going to ask the same thing! There's a picture of a snake and a fire hydrant, but not the famous trash can.

Michael said...

Also, I did a search for "Cibola Hospitality Center" and the search results are humorous. It sounds like a shell corporation. This is the best website I could find:

Mary said...

It's a prison support place. It's listed in that website in the lower right-side of the page. Maybe it's there to support the families of the prisoners. It's a nicer name than "Support for Prisoners' Families." It may be there to support prisoners who are released. Apparently, they don't want to divulge too much information about it (if you need to know, you'll know!) but they have have A LOT of money that I found on another site.