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Travel to the CDT Southern Terminus

Thursday April 19th, CDT Day -2

I took a one-way flight from Detroit to El Paso, with a stop in Dallas. After arriving in El Paso at 9:30am, I hiked 7 miles across town to the train station. I had an Amtrak train reservation to Lordsburg at 1:45pm, but the train was 3 hours late. I expected there to be a screen inside the train station that updates you on the train arrival and departure times, similar to the airport, but there was nothing of the sort.

Border wall between the United States and Juarez, Mexico

When I did finally get on the train, the first thing I noticed was how much more legroom you have compared to an airplane. The seats were the size of first class seats in a plane as well. It’s a lot more comfortable than flying but much slower. As we left El Paso, the train runs only a few feet from the border of Mexico. There was a wall separating the US from Juarez Mexico, but the train track then veers away from the border west of Juarez and the Border quickly fades out of sight.

After arriving in Lordsburg, I had a one mile walk to my hotel. I walked a route a little off the main strip, and it had a bit of an eerie feel to it. Everything looked run down and abandoned. High winds rustled the overgrown vegetation on the sidewalks. In a way, it reminded me of Detroit, except that Lordsburg was never large or prosperous.

There were a few other CDT hikers hanging around outside the the Econo Lodge when I arrived. We chatted for a minute before I grabbed dinner from a local restaurant. Running on only 4 hours of sleep, I went to bed shortly after.

Friday April 20th, CDT Day -1

I got a solid 10 hours of sleep last night and felt a lot better this morning. It was very cool and windy this morning, not really the hot desert environment I was expecting. I ran up to the post office to ship back if couple extra items I had in my backpack and then headed over to the grocery store to buy food for the next 5 days. Here I bumped into another CDT hiker, trail name Storytime. Thru-hikers have a tradition of giving each other “trail names”. I don’t have one yet. I saw lots of other hikers in Lordsburg today, most of whom just completed the crazy cook to Lordsburg section.

The grocery store didn’t have a very good selection, so I headed over to Family Dollar and picked up the beef jerky that I wasn’t able to find at Saucedo’s. Then I return to the hotel and repackaged my food.

I ate lunch at Mama Rose’s, where I had eaten the night before. They had a sign in the restaurant that said ” at this site in 1892, nothing happened”. This pretty much sums up how I feel about Lordsburg, except that you could say the same thing for any date. I’m sure something of some historical significance happened here at some point, but by the looks of the town you would never know it.

I didn’t really have much else to do today so I just hung out at the hotel. Nothing else to do except kill time until tomorrow morning. I got bored sitting in the hotel so I went for a walk down the street up to Family Dollar to try and procure some beef jerky. Apparently, the grocery store didn’t have any. On my way, I ran into a group of hikers who just completed the crazy cook to Lordsburg section that I will be setting out on tomorrow. After a few introductions, one of the hikers said “You must be Eric. You’re famous.” I was pretty surprised that a total stranger knew my name, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re on the CDT Facebook group.

Sockeye, Lightfoot, hodgepodge, Swiss monkey, MacGyver, tk and myself

I sat around for awhile in my hotel room before heading down to the lobby to put a few things into the hiker box… Many of the places hikers congregate along the CDT have these boxes where hikers can leave unwanted food or gear for others who pass by. I ran into the same group of hikers that recognized me on the street earlier, and we decided to get some pizza and beer. We took this back to the Econo Lodge and I’m out for a couple hours. It was a fun evening getting to know the people who I’ll be sharing the trail with this year. At some point we got to talking about trail names and I was given the name “Famous”. I usually like to fly under the radar, and so being an oxymoron, I kind of like the name.

Headed to bed around 10:30 to get some sleep, big day tomorrow!

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