This is officially my first zero day. Sort of. I had to take a zero day on my 2013 thru-hike of the Ice Age Trail due to a case of cellulitis. But I never just took one to rest up. I decided to take two during this hike because, well, I’m getting older! The rest days are here in Lordsburg, then in Silver City.
So what have I been doing on my day off? Lots! First, I gathered together all sorts of backpacker food I never ate, due to extreme thirst. Then I gathered all of the items I want to mail forward in what’s called a bounce box. I’ve got warmer clothes for the northern stretches of the state, a sleeping bag liner, and my stove, fuel and pot.
I decided to ditch the latter three cooking items to lighten my pack, plus to save the water I’d use for coffee and rehydrating meals to drink. Then I bought corn tortillas and flavored tuna packs to have for dinner instead.
Checking Out the Lordsburg PO
I had these items in one post office box and a small day pack that I was carrying to the post office, which is only .6 miles away (1 km). Still, it was hard on my one super-sore foot and my bad knee. A man coming out of the grocery store offered to drive me wherever I wanted to go. For some reason I agreed. He seemed nice and sincere.
Turns out he used to be the manager at the EconoLodge, and had always gotten great reviews for his service to hikers. The past owners sold the motel to the current owner, who is also great to hikers. But apparently he’s serving as the owner-manager, so the man helping me lost his job.
The folks at the Lordsburg post office were very friendly and nice, showing me how to best package my items so as to pay the least. Everyone has been so kind in this town.
Gearing Up for Tomorrow
I also had plenty of time today to catch up on email, a little news and some work. Oh, and I forgot to mention that while the EconoLodge doesn’t have a guest laundry, the owner offered to do mine once he’d finished with all of the bedding for the guests. So I got my laundry done, too.
I’m nervous about this next leg of the journey. The weather is supposed to remain in the 90s F (+32 C) in Lordsburg, with warm nights as well. I’ll also be hiking uphill for the next several days.
On the positive side, Silver City is 1,700 feet higher in elevation (518.2 m), so it’s about 10 degrees F (= 6 C, I think) cooler there than here – both day and night – which will help greatly.
On the negative side, there isn’t much water available, at least the first day. And there are NO water cache boxes.
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Wish me luck!