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Fireweed - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2014

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Mary "Fireweed" Kwart
City: Ashland
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 10, 2014
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, May 11th, 2014
Start: Zuni Canyon
End: Grants
Daily Distance: 13.8
Trip Distance: 386.8

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 182
Journal Visits: 21,343
Guestbook Views: 944
Guestbook Entrys: 4

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Continental Divide Trail Map

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Compassionate Alternative to living in Grants

Hell Day

The wind started picking up going through Zuni Canyon, barely predicting the hellish 60 mph gusts going into Grants. I could see the dust washing over the road ahead during long straight stretches into town. Unfortunately, taking the Zuni/Bonita route comes out on the west side of Grants--4.5 miles from the hiker recommended Travel Lodge motel. I couldn't get a hold of the Mumm's for a shuttle. They do enough, anyway with the caches. I felt like the guy in the famous photo of the Dustbowl in the 30's--I had to turn my face away from the blasting sand. The wind was worse going over the freeway overpass--I was afraid of being blown into the traffic. I had to stop and regain my balance, bracing myself with my hiking poles. I finally took cover behind a convenience store to re-assess my town walk to the travel lodge. I continued the long walk down semi-abandoned old Hwy 66--wrecked store fronts like they were war blasted, ancient desiccated chile ristras swaying back in forth in the wind. Old abandoned 50's cars and abandoned service stations. If there is a hell, it must look like Grants. Big diesel trucks zoomed past--the only way humans who could be blissfully unaware of the hurricane like inferno outside. The experience of walking across Grants was so hellish I found it to be hilarious--this was capped by passing the "Compassion Mortuary". I stopped and bent over with laughter in the buffeting wind. Evidently it was better to be dead than alive in Grants. I had to go over another overpass to get to the motel, but there was no walkway and I thought the motel was on this side of the overpass. I called the Travel lodge and they guided me--I was haltingly trudging up the over pass, taking advantage of being able to walk within a no car work zone when a car pulled over--it was a woman from the motel who had come to pick me up--Thanks to her!! I got in the car and was in the safety of the Travel lodge lobby in a few minutes. Soon I was taking a shower, which ran out of hot water just before Carole Mumm called me on the cell phone and asked, "How are you?". "You don't want to know", I replied.

It was all uphill from there--Hugo Mumm brought over my boxes and I saw Kermit and Dusty in the jacuzzi. Denny's was nearby with 24 hour breakfast. Dusty has decided to pack it in and go on to better adventures--he went to the Greyhound in the evening to get a plane from Albuquerque to Chicago. "Big Sky" showed up later--he was not enjoying the road walking either and was going back to Montana. This last section has been psychologically hard on hikers.

Entry 34 of 76
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CDT New Mexico 2014

Fireweed

 

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