Total Miles: 679.7
Absolutes are tiring. And also pointless. Stepping back onto the trail after nearly 48 hours worth of rest, my state of being clean does not—surprisingly—disappear in an instant. Little by little, sweat, dirt, and sunscreen conspire against this newfound state of cleanliness and begin to return me to a version of clean more becoming of a thru-hiker. Not dirty, per se, but also not clean as people of the normal world might define it. It’s a redefined state of clean, one that we are constantly trying to preserve as best we can. A slow erosion we endeavor to arrest, knowing that on a long enough timeline, it’s a battle we’re destined to lose, bit by bit.
Crossing under Interstate 10 this morning required a trip into the mouth of an impressive rattlesnake mural before emerging back onto the gentle undulating trail that eased our transition from temporary couch potatoes to thru-hikers once again.
Late morning saw the imaginary line of 100 miles to the border with Mexico come and go. To celebrate, the weather gods took pity enough to arrange for not only cooler temperatures, but a steady breeze beneath a consistent veil of cloud cover.
Golden waves of dry grass, filling in almost every conceivable inch of space between the cacti and mesquite, nodded and waved in the breeze.
Almost without noticing, the light of early evening was all around us which meant only one thing: that the admission-free show of sunset was about to begin. There’s nothing quite like the fireworks of a southwest sunset; and despite how many times we’ve seen it both this year and last, it has lost not one bit of its magic.