After a long day of driving, caching water for the first 92 miles of the trail, and one flat tire on the access road to the southern terminus we finally made it to Cooke’s Monument for a 6:30 PM start. We made it a few miles before the sun set. Crickets, cows, and coyotes sang us to sleep. It was a very romantic beginning to this long trek north.
We woke just before dawn. The coyotes were still howling in the distance. We hiked some on a dirt road and then the signs led us cross country. After a 22 mile day we both agreed that trekking cross-country with no trail is exhausting.
When we arrived at our second water cache, five sets of glowing green eyes were staring at us. It took a second, but we quickly realized the glowing eyes belonged to cows. We made it to our cached water and set up camp to the rumble of border patrol on quads riding along the side of highway 81. We settled in for the night and watched two spiders wrestle; by headlamp, they looked like cyclopses with one giant glowing green eye.
After a couple of hot days we decided to take the alternate route to our last water cache before Lordsburg. The alternate route stayed closer to the divide and went up into the hills where it was cooler. It also had more road walking, which we thought would be a nice change from cross country. As the day dwindled we decided to stay on the road until it met up with the road our water was near. It was a lot further though and turned out to be a bit too much road walking. We got to the last water cache well after dark. As I exploded my pack and settled in for the evening my body began to tell me just how much it thought the day dragged on past its threshold. Nausea set in followed by a few shivers and random sharp twinges of pain. The night passed with a blur, and I awoke feeling much refreshed and ready to conquer the last ~8 miles to Lordsburg.