The Crazy Cook Route on the CDT

Lordsburg. It’s dumpy.

Lordsburg, where I settled into two hotel rooms before realizing that they were unacceptably filty, bug infested, and broken. Lordsburg, where there really wasn’t anything going on. Lordsburg, where the dump of a chinese restaurant, turned out to be delicious. We’d hemmed and hawed about even going in. We *knew* it’d be bad. It was only $4.50 and the food sat under heat lamps that didn’t even look strong. But the friendly, straight from the east, via the west coast, family cooked up a delicious portion. Wanted something in the buffet? They probably didn’t have enough under the lamp to serve you, but they’d cook it up for you fresh in three mintues. It was awesome. We ate there twice.

Hiked on. Again, the red route. It was pretty much just following posts from here on to the border. They were pretty newly placed. They were pretty easy to follow. Later we saw a sign stating that they were placed every twenty yards. It was more like every 100 yards in the begining. And then it turned to every 1/4 mile, and then in some sad places, every 1/2 mile. It should be obivious that you can’t see one post from the other when they’re a quarter of a mile away. It was somewhat frustrating. Again, no footprints. No faint foot path. In one section, not even any information from the guy who makes the maps. No one who had hiked it had reported back anything about it. We were the ones to find the water sources and report to the mapmaker their quality and location. It was good hiking. I was happy to be doing that route instead of the commonly done road walking. I like the offical route to Crazy Cook.

It flet like snake habitat, but I saw only one tiny snake. It felt like “illegal” habitat, but I saw only one set of sneaker prints heading northbound away from the border. I did find an abandonded poncho and someone’s water jug that’d been painted black. They do that so they’re not carrying a big white object as they move through the night.

We had numerous encounters with border patrol. First, two guys on horse back who’d been following us for a while. Then helicopters. Three of them. Not sure if they were really out flying for us, but i’d like to think that the fighter jet that buzzed our heads was dispatched in our direction. Also, four guys in body armor on ATVs. And a guy in a truck. Each time, they’d been dispatched specifically to intercept us. They weren’t out there just wandering around. They knew we were there, and they came looking to see who we were. Each time: “Will you state your citizenship?”, “Can I see the bottom of your shoes?” Once: “If you like walking so much, you should come work for us.” hmm….

And then we were done. I walked from Canada to Mexico. I finished the CDT! It was good. Like chocolate ice cream. I had fun. I’m a little sad. Lost and I are parting ways and that’s a bummer. She’s been a great friend over the months and a killer hiking companion.

We got a ride away from Crazy Cook with Sam Hughes. Fugitive was there too, we met up with him on the last morning. Sam is a nice guy. The dirt road to Crazy Cook really is pretty bad. You can drive a stock, 4×4 pickup down it, but be prepared to damage your truck. It costs the three of us $160 total to be picked up at the border and driven to Deming. You could easily do more damage than that to your truck. I’d hire Sam. He dropped us off at Walmart.

The guy in front of me was buying a shirt. He bragged to the cashier that he was famous. “A nobel peace prize nominee”, “a motivational speaker”, “going to hollywood to make a movie”, “and author”. I held back a laugh, feeling sure that he was blowing smoke. Then he asked me if my chocolate cream pie was my favorite flavor. (It’s not). Then he bought it for me. Who the heck does that? What’s his story? Some famous dude isn’t bragging to the walmart clerk in Deming while shopping for clothing. And why buy my pie? I’m just some grungy dude. To top his tales, I said: “I just walked from Canada to Mexico.” It was true. It was all true. Turns out that the guy was He’s what he said he was. And he bought me a pie. He’s also the guy that a podcast that I listened made fun of a while ago. From his website, he looks like the epitome of cheese. And he bought me a pie. It was a great finish to the trail.

I am now done with the CDT. Stayed with trail angel El Coyote last night. On a bus to El Paso in two hours. Then tomorrow, flying to Utah. It’s my birthday the next day. Then a day to unpack and repack. And then my next trip. I don’t quite do re-rentry. I backpack full time. Tuesday is work. Work = backpacking. I’m looking forward to being back.

Life continues and the trail stays within.


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