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After Lordsburg, despite being mesmerised by the desert, the trail has thrown in little treats, as if apologising for a brutal start. Although it took a few hours to hit the next small group of hills, changes began as I climbed. The fierce wind subsided, and the temperature cooled as I climbed with HoJo up to 6,000ft. Our world turned green, trees appeared, birds darted and joined in a spring chorus as we dipped in and out of welcome shade.

This four-day stretch will see us through sixty miles to Silver City, where we will rest for an afternoon in a motel, before resupplying for a huge fourteen-day stint to Pie Town. We had the foresight to drop off a supply box three days in, but I still have to haul eleven days worth of food out of Silver City.

HoJo has been suffering from an upset stomach. We think the culprit may have been a dodgy chocolate milkshake at the garage. My body is faring well and I have no grumbles. I trained before coming out here and, as usual, there could always have been more pre-trip miles; but with a little yoga each day, I feel in great shape. No hobbles, no blisters, no aches or pains.

My pace slowed on this section to Silver City, because HoJo also slowed, lethargic after his stomach problems. I don’t complain – the slower I walk at the start, the easier the body adjusts.

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We could still see Lordsburg twenty miles behind us through a break in the hills. At camp, we decided a fifteen-miler the following day would see us to the I90 road, leaving twelve miles on the asphalt to Silver City.

We made a great start and were away by 6am, keen to get to the motel and take a hot shower. I rarely mind road walking. I don’t have to concentrate on obstacles and detritus on the trail so my gaze can wander around my world at ease. A few cars tooted at us, no doubt an article in the local paper about us CDT thru-hikers still fresh in their minds.

We hit Silver City late morning and picked up mail at the post office, then found the motel easily enough. The usual frantic food shopping ensued -I not only had to pile food for eleven days into my trolley to see me to Pie Town, but also another five days supply to mail up to Pie Town itself, as the resupply options there aren’t promising.

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