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Mexico to Patagonia: Spent all morning hitching from Silver City to the Southern Terminus of the AZT. I was in a weird funk all morning; felt very melancholy. I didn’t feel like conversing, probably due to socializing so much the past few days.
Brendan’s friend, Moonshine (former thru-hiker) drove me to Lordsburg and I got picked up by a man named Austin. We didn’t talk for the whole hour drive since his jeep didn’t have windows and we would have been required to yell. The sound of the boisterous wind was just what I needed in order to sit with the feelings that were coming up.
I would find myself getting hooked by thoughts and spiraling down a rabbit hole several times. A gentle voice would remind me to focus on the way the wind felt as it blew through my hair, the way the sun felt on my skin, the view of the desert mountains beyond the valley.
My second ride was from a former army man who reminisced about his time in the navy as a recruiter. He dropped me off at Montezuma Canyon Road and a local family picked me up in their pickup truck. As I was sitting in the back enjoying the Arizona breeze, they stopped the car and told me to squeeze up front with them. Makes me feel so loved when people do that. I don’t mind either way, I just appreciate the sense of trust. 🙏🏻
Trekked up Joe’s Canyon Trail and then down the mountain to touch the border to make it official. Trekked the same trail back to the visitor center to find all the cars gone. I intended to hitch my way to Patagonia to pick up where I left off last fall.
It was getting dark, but I noticed my sense of trust has become solid again. I knew I would get to where I needed to be at the perfect time, despite having zero evidence. Just as I walked across the street, a car came down the hill and happily gave me a ride to the HWY.
Shortly after getting dropped off, I got picked up by an older man with kind eyes named Wayne who was a hitchhiker back in the 70’s. He said not many people hitchhike anymore, probably because people are so afraid of one another and due to the media succeeding in portraying the fearful illusion of separation/division. I agreed. He offered me doughnuts, freshly baked bread, water, etc. I was eating as though I hadn’t eaten in weeks. Hiker hunger has officially kicked in. 😂 When he dropped me off he asked if I needed anything else like taking a shower or doing laundry. Bless the people I meet. 🙏🏻
The last ride who stopped to pick me up was a mother and a daughter. The young girl stepped out of the car with such gentleness in her voice. She had hexagon glasses, plump lips, short blonde hair and tattoos of flowers merged with snakes covering her arms. She looked to be in her early twenties.
The dashboard was decorated with sage, a handmade beaded octopus and dried flowers. Her mother was Danish and said I was the first hitchhiker she picked up in thirty years. She talked about her dreams of hiking the PCT one day. In the next life she said she would like to be a grizzly mother as she was very drawn to grizzly bears.
Her daughter expressed to me that she might appear quiet since her partner just passed away. I didn’t ask how or what apparently happened, but I could see the pain in her eyes and sense the tenderness behind her voice. On the road, I am humbly shown that everyone has a story that I know nothing about. I never know what someone could be going through and how important it is to always hold a space of kindness.
They dropped me off in Patagonia and asked if I needed any supplies or money. I told them their presence was more than enough for me. I found some stuff in the hiker box at the hotel and continued north. I found the perfect stealth site atop a small hill overlooking the mountain and called it a night. 👣🌾✨