Signpost in New Mexico desert
I thought today’s hike to Jones Canyon Spring would be a walk in the park. After all, I’d start out full of water and only be hiking about 15 miles (24.1 km), compared to yesterday’s 22 (35.4 km). Ha!

So I let myself sleep in until 6:30. It had been quite windy from about 8 to 10 p.m., but then the wind died down. Thank goodness, as it kept blowing the tent into my head. I loaded up with Crystal’s great water, then headed out at a lazy pace. Why hurry, when I wasn’t going that far?

Heading to Jones Canyon Spring

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The first few miles were relatively flat and easy, plus scenic, of course. But then things got challenging. There were so many tall, steep, rocky formations that I had to keep traversing. With my too-heavy pack, it was difficult. I’m also being super cautious on uphills and downhills due to having had two hamstring repairs Sign in desert saying Cuba Ranch.and a meniscus surgery within the last five years. I didn’t want to tear anything else!

Despite having plenty of water, I was downing it pretty quickly due to the heat, my pack and the terrain. Once again, I could barely eat anything because all my body was craving was water.

Normally, I take a break every two hours while hiking. Today, I kept taking them more and more frequently – probably every hour.

Arriving at the Spring

Notes in the FarOut app said this spring was only trickling, and that it helped to step on the pipe. Not having seen it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t see a spring anywhere, just a cattle tank filled with fetid water, around which flies were buzzing. I spied a black, rubber pipe hovering barely above the water and saw a trickle of water coming out.

Pipe extending to crude cattle tank.
I devised a system where I put my cup under the pipe (my water bottles didn’t fit), stepped on the pipe and collected water, then dumped it into my dirty-water bottle, which I filtered into the clean bottles. The water that came out was clear, but there were little black specks in it, possibly from the pipe.

Making Camp

There was a lovely, flat camping spot (surrounded by cow pies) where I set up camp. I drank so much water right away, I went back to the spring and refilled more bottles. I tried to eat something, but could only get down a few spoonfuls before giving up.

I’m so excited to reach town tomorrow, where I can SHOWER (!), eat real food, drink as much as I’d like and wash my clothes.


Today’s Miles: 15.5 (24.9 km)
CDT Miles to Date: 205.8 (331.2 km)
CDT Miles to Go: 2,894.2 (4,657,8 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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