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15-04-29.       Day 18.       Crush

The coyotes were right on time howling to wake me up at 5:50 am. We were having COFFEE Time !!!!!  before we started hiking and it was awesome.  We are two days from Pie Town resupply so we can start to eat all our food and burn the fuel. The timing was perfect since it was the coldest morning yet with frozen water bottles. At 6:35 am we were hiking and at 6:50 we were off trail…Not lost, just off trail. The start of another wonderful day on the CDT.

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We crossed highway 12 where “W” hitch hiked last night  into Reserve NM 10 miles off trail to resupply some food  and hoped to catch us in Pie Town. As we left the road, there was TRAIL MAGIC!!!!  past the gate under a tree. Orange Crush…Yea!!  Thank you who ever you are…..You Are Very Wonderful..

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We had two choices of trail to take to Pie Town. The “Official” red route that goes through Pie Town or the purple that evolves a 8 mile hitch into town. We chose the red route thinking to avoid the hitch. We found the trail well marked with new signs and a nice tread. At 10:30 am I looked for our position on the map and couldn’t find our position. “Oh no..” We are on the purple route which is the official route. I was crushed again. Twice I have led us the wrong way this morning…. Since the trail is in the development stage, there is a lot of choices as to what route to take. We reviewed our situation snd made a plan. Hike on and hike cross country for a mile or two to get back on the red route. We had lunch and was looking for our turnoff when the Official trail turned straight up a steep incline. The trail builders installed rock water bars and all. I was gasping for air and again, Crushed… When will be able to hike without getting winded? We were at 8,800 ft so maybe I need a little more time to aclamate.

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We all had our compasses out as we hiked cross country. We would take a bearing, pick a tree or rock, hike to it, and repeat. This is just what we learned in Boy Scouts. We come out exactly where we wanted, and headed to Valle Tio Vinces Spring to get much needed water. After much searching, the spring was dry. Another 3.7 miles to Mangas Mtn Fire Lookout for the next possible water. The lookout is 9,691 ft and manned by Dave. He gave us some of his personal water and gave us a tour of the tower. Another amazing day.

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FS Road 4914U.   16 Miles

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