[cdt-l] Southbound: Silver City to Mexican border then home

Alistair and Gail Des Moulins aandg at telusplanet.net
Wed Nov 22 21:53:19 CST 2006

Before leaving Silver City on 6th November, a reporter with the Silver City
Daily Press interviewed us and we made it to the front page on Election Day!
Check out www.scdailypress.com  and look at the issue for November 7th.
Nov 6th once we left town at 11:00 was spent mostly hiking down paved NM90
then turning off onto a gravel road.
Nov 7th: Plenty of water in Deadman Canyon. We hiked over Burro Peak from 
which we had an excellent view of our route ahead for the next few days then 
back down to NM90 before walking along
the little used gravel road towards Separ.
Nov 8th: All day on the road to Separ - about 23 miles. The day was more
interesting than that suggests as there were good views of the surrounding
mountains. We saw 2 bull snakes - they evidently eat rattlesnakes. The
multitude of different types of grasshopper on the road were also 
Often we saw one on top of another! They are also cannibalistic - we saw 
fighting and one bit the head off another. A tarantula spider also made a
charge across the road at me! We camped by a water tank that night 4 miles 
North of Separ, our first
camp by water in all of NM I think.
Nov 9th: Ice Cream at the store in Separ. Then we followed the purple route 
on Jonathan's map south from Separ. After about 4 miles the route was signed 
"Authorized Entry Only"
 so we headed a mile east then went south cross country. Some prickly 
vegetation but a good windmill found on the route. We camped about 3 miles 
north of NM9.
Nov 10th: Soon after getting going we noticed a line of shiny markers to the 
west - 1' square CDT markers so we followed them - no tread just a route. 
Crossed NM9 and followed them further. Joined an old road down the east side 
of the mountains parallel to NM81.
Nov 11th: After 3 miles reached the windmill 12 miles south of Hachita. 
Filled up with water but found another windmill in 6 miles just off trail. 
Official trail now is routed up Sheridan Canyon and we camped in the canyon.
Nov 12th: Just after creek course junction caught a glimpse of Sheridan 
windmill. It was not working but there was a large tank of water. After 
going over a pass in the Big Hatchet mountains we descended to
the flats again and another windmill 2 miles before the border. The last 2 
miles we headed east and reached the Mexican border at 2:30 pm. We'd seen a 
truck on the border about 15 minutes before and wondered whether we'd have 
problems with the border patrol. It turned out to be 3 Mexicans out for a 
drive. They saw us and stopped. We shook hands with them across the wire 
fence and one of them took a picture for us on Gail's digital camera. At 3pm 
we started back from the border - northbound. We returned to the windmill 
and then headed west for a couple of miles before camping. Weather was 
generally quite warm 70F in the day dropping to near freezing at night south 
of Silver City.
Nov 13th: We had to get to Lordsburg to get the Greyhound bus. We'd booked 
tickets for the 16th by phone. 90 miles to Lordsburg. We would hitch and 
for rides otherwise walk. The 'road' for the first 14 miles turned out to be 
little used and sometimes washed out track but we did pass 3 windmills. We 
reached NM81 a paved highway at 2:30 pm. Hitched and walked. All border 
patrol trucks stopped to see if we
were illegals but they wouldn't give us a ride - told us that there's danger 
of disease from hepatitis and other diseases if you ride in the back of 
their trucks! We did eventually get a ride after
walking about 7 miles and that took us into Hachita. Our info was that this 
place had 2 stores/cafes but they were both closed for good. The bar was 
open so we went in for a drink. Met a guy who
works at REI in Seattle who bought us a drink. We chatted with one of the
local women, she did most of the talking. To our surprise the bar then 
at 7pm. We asked the barman where we could camp. He said - just camp 
the building by the trailer. No food available in the bar so we cooked up 
last meal.
Nov 14th: On the road hitching at 6:30. Still standing there at 7:30 so we
started walking the 44 miles to Lordsburg. About 8:15 a truck stopped and 
were going to Silver City via Lordsburg - real luck as there is no direct
road to Lordsburg. No room in the truck so we rode in the back with our 
packs -
probably illegal but we got here - gave him $5 for gas. Got our other boots
from Post Office, changed our bus tickets to leave on 15th, had lunch early,
did laundry, a 'jesus' guy insisted on giving us $20 for a good meal - we 
look really destitute!, found motel for night $32, would have been $24 in 
Went for groceries for journey at the Saucedo store. They wanted to carry 
the stuff to our car,
when we said we had no car they gave us a ride to the motel (all of 5 blocks 
away)! We then read email in the library before having a good Mexican meal 
at El Charro's on the NE side of the tracks.
Nov 15th - 18th: The trains woke us several times in the night. We were up 
early. The bus arrived at 6.00 am on time. Then our 76 hour bus journey 
began!  We chose to go via Salt Lake rather than LA.
We changed buses in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle 
and Vancouver and arrived at the Calgary bus station at 10:15 am on 18th. 
Then we walked the 2 miles home!
When we hiked the PCT in 2003 there was bus service south from Calgary to 
Great Falls MT and on to Salt Lake. If that had still been operating it 
would have saved a day on the bus. The next border crossing east of 
Vancouver that Greyhound buses run through is south of Winnipeg.

We enjoyed the 5 months we spent on the trail this year and it was nice to 
meet some of the people who we've read emails from on this list. We took 6 
months to hike the 2658 mile PCT in 2003 so it was unlikely that we'd hike 
the whole 3000+ mile CDT in 6 months this year. The snow came earlier than 
usual in Colorado so we skipped from Steamboat down to Grants, NM. We'll 
return in May some year to Grants, NM and hike the 900+ mile section to 
Steamboat Springs.
Throughout the trip we used a Fat Pika stove and it performed very well. It 
boils water faster than the MSR XGK which we used on the PCT. See 

Alistair (for Alistair & Gail)

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