I’m a flustered mess. I’ve been searching in my pile of stuff for some toothpaste for nearly an hour and everyone is waiting. I finally throw in a different tube and we all head out. “Why is your backpack dripping,” asks my sister. “Uh, it shouldn’t be,” I say as I swing it down. The culprit seems to be an untightened lid on my camelbak, but during the inspection I discover a small hole in the bottom of my pack. “G, seriously, get it together” I think. Then I realize I can’t find my sarong but it’s time to go.
My sister lives in San Diego and she’s offered to drive J and me to Campo. I’m sitting in the backseat, navigating, and I manage to get us lost in the first 15 minutes. I feel terrible. I think I’m carsick. I don’t even get carsick. I had no idea I was this neurotic.
The rest of the drive is fine, although we are lost again trying to find the start of the trail. We’ve been derailed on the maze of dirt roads used by the border patrol. “It’s the crux,” says J. “Hardest part is finding the damn thing.”
When we finally do find it, I’m surprised. I’ve seen hundreds of pictures of the monument,but not a single one facing the other way. It doesn’t look like I expected – all rolling green hills, kinda shrubby, with the granite bones of the land peeping through. It’s lovely. There are flowers everywhere, peach and purple, red and white. It’s almost noon and we’ve got 15 miles to put in.
The walking starts getting tough around mile 8. We didn’t bring enough water, and J gave some of it to a gentleman a ways back. It’s hard not to think about it, although the country is beautiful. It looks like Steinbeck country, like California. (Surprise)
When we limp down into the valley with Hauser creek, we’re totally beat. We have two liters of water left to take us 5 miles tomorrow, we haven’t made dinner yet, I’m thirsty, and the creek is dry. Then J says, “that’s funny, I’ve never seen a creek flowing with plastic bottles like that before,” and there’s a water cache. I cry.
I’ve got on my long johns, I’ve watered up, I’ve lanced my blisters, goodnight.