The intrepid Zippy Morocco is hiking northward from the Mexican border. After three weeks, he’s almost through New Mexico. Want stories and photos? He’s got no interest in blogging or writing. So I’m all you get: secondhand, better than nothing…
On April 30, he took a plane to Tucson, an Uber to the bus station, a Greyhound to Lordsburg, and on May 1, an ATV shuttle to the border. He started with all these folks but they are likely far behind him by now. He’s excited, doing thirty and forty mile days. He says he doesn’t get physically tired, just sleepy, and that’s when he stops and makes camp. That’s all he does: walk and sleep. He loves it. He loves being alone. Loves walking, walking forever.
It’s a desert. The middle six hours of the day are darn hot, and nary a sliver of shade. But it is less hard on him than the desert of the PCT was. He credits that to better electrolytes. He’s taking Hammer Endurolytes every day, and eating better – no gag-inducing peanut butter tortillas, he’s getting high quality Good Food Store bulk grub for every meal. Corn chowder, split pea soup, couscous pilaf, refried black beans with tomato powder, mashed potatoes with stuffing and dried herbs, freeze-dried veggies, Pro Bars, granola with organic coconut milk powder… fella is set up.
The CDT isn’t really a trail, usually. It’s a route. Map and compass all the way. Even when there’s a sign, it’s not exactly clear…
…or else, in New Mexico anyway, it’s just walking along the side of a road.
It’s flat in most of the state, so he’s had a lot of cell phone reception. We sometimes chat while he’s hiking. He freaked out his mom by texting her a photo of a rattlesnake in real-time, mid-call, as it shook its tail at him and she urgently reminded him exactly how many times its body length a rattler can spring:
Despite the desert, water caches and pumps and streams – even a beautiful hot spring – crop up occasionally. One day he called to tell me about his latest water source: a big water tower with a spigot at the bottom. But he didn’t want the water from the dirty ol’ spigot. He wanted the water that was shooting out of what looked like a bullet hole in the side of the tank: higher water, better water. He tried to catch the stream as it shot every which way, and got a refreshing shower in the process.
He skirted El Malpais National Monument, the famous arch of which he viewed from above, and not below, as in most photos you see…
And he takes photos of wildflowers, only because he knows I like them. Otherwise, he registers that flowers exist, but pays them no mind.
At night, we look at the moon. We both see the same white globe, thousands of miles apart, but it is as if we are close.
So he’s closing in on Colorado. Snowpack in the San Juans is at 144% of normal. This is the point where I get nervous and he gets excited. Our friend Samson is plowing through, ten days ahead. It’s heartening to hear that it is possible. And there’ll be one more week, at least, of snow melt (we hope) before Zippy’s turn to posthole his way into the highlands. I’ll keep you posted.