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There is Speed and there is Town Speed | Average Hiker

Desert Lizard

The men were in a staggered line behind me.  I turned to see white sun hats weaving in and out of the scrub.  Everyone but Amy was making good time, since it was a town day.  Amy appeared to have disappeared into the desert.

I could feel sweat soaked bandages slipping around on my raw feet, and had settled amongst some scrub to dry out my socks, and apply fresh dressings. Each rock and bush, within reach, and in the sun, had a sock or shoe laid out on it, as I attempted to keep them up out of the dirt while they dried.

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Lordsburg Cowgirl

Tire Sludge

I leaned back against the side of the ravine, squeezing canned cheese onto slices of pepperoni – heaven in a heart stopping snack.  My hiking metabolism burns through the cholesterol before it has time to clog up my arteries.  Seriously, it does!

“How do you eat that crap?” Mr. K said, wrinkling up his sun weathered nose.

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nm desert

Whistling Windy Zombies


The wind whistled through the tall, withered grass around me, as I battled with the corner of the tarp being ripped from my hands.  “Crap!” I yelped in pain and frustration, as the corner across from me, ripped the titanium stake from the ground and snapped it across my cheek.  A thin slice of pain lit up my face, fire knifing though the sensitive skin underneath my eye.  I bowed my head and knelt on the whipping silicone beast beneath me.  Closing my eyes, I counted slowly to ten, and gathered myself for the next assault.

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Their Journey

His eyes widened, and he took a step back.  I glanced around quickly.  Did he have company?  Was he alone?  Damn  – Jason had warned me about the “Hachita Drug Runners,” so I had been moving cautiously through the old ruins, and still not seen him.

The young man stood staring at me.  In his khakis, white shirt, and day pack, he looked like any other hiker out for the day.  A slow, half smile spread across his face as I watched the tension drain from his body.  His eyes continued to dart around quickly, but had slowed once he realized I was alone.

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nm windmill

Desert Death


My feet felt as if they were wrapped in sand paper, as I hobbled around packing up my gear.  I had woken up early and spent 45 minutes popping blisters with the tip of my Gerber, spreading red hot Neosporin on the wounds, and then bandaging each blistered toe.  The culmination of the surgery was strips of duct tape layered over the whole bandaged mess.  Unfortunately, this also made my feet about two sizes larger.

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