Day 30: May 23, 2019
Destination: CDT Mile 535.6 (Grants)
Today’s Miles: 5.0
Start Location: Bonita-Zuni Alternate Mile 19.6
Trip Miles: 433.7
I woke up at the crack of dawn with the goal of getting into Grants super early. I wanted to grab breakfast somewhere before hitting the post office, which opened at 8:30.
Grants is fairly spread out. I planned to stay at the Sure Stay on the east side of town near Walmart. I would walk into town from the west, which is where the post office is. There is a 2.5 mile spread between the two.
I hiked down out of my perch on the canyon rim and started my 5-mile walk into town. I had heard that this road walk was basically an angry, loose dog gauntlet. I did see dogs, but fortunately none came after me. I was relieved!
When I walked across the interstate to turn right into town, I realized Grants is on the famous Route 66. As the old song goes, I definitely planned to get my kicks on Route 66. I had a pair of shoes waiting for me at the post office!
I walked past the Veterans park and tried to go to a cafe about a mile away called the Coco Bean. When I got there it was closed (perhaps out of business), so I turned around and walked back where I came from and slipped into a spot called El Cafecito. I had a hearty breakfast of coffee, huevos rancheros, and a short stack of pancakes.
After food, I walked back to the post office to get my packages. Fortunately, they all arrived! There is a shuttle in Grants called the Carrot Express and you can call them and they will come pick you up. I was just about to dial their number when a lady came in the door and asked, “Need a ride?”
Her name was Michele and she is a Trail Angel in the area. It was the craziest and best timing! I felt so lucky. We had a nice chat, and when she dropped me off at the hotel she gave me her number in case I needed to go anywhere else. How cool is that?
I got checked into the hotel and started seeing other hikers around: Dutchman, Mouse, Boot Scootin’, Wodge. In my room I set about enacting operation gear explosion. I had stuff everywhere! I washed things and laid them out to dry. I got my food out and tallied it, etc etc.
I went to Walmart next door to resupply and also to get food for a box I will send ahead on the trail to a post called Ghost Town. It’s on an alternate before Chama. In addition to food, I picked up a smoothie, kombucha, a banana and some veggies for lunch.
Back at the hotel I organized my food box, but when I called the Carrot Express they were already booked up for the day. I had developed another small blister this morning, so walking was not a good idea. I called Michele and she was super willing to help. She had been dropping someone else off somewhere, so she swung by and picked me up and took me to the post office and back! I was super grateful and made sure to give her some gas money. I’d say she saved my butt, but she really saved my feet!
I did laundry and caught up with my wife and parents. I made a plan to hike to Chama before deciding whether to flip up to Wyoming and come back to Colorado.
I saw Boot Scootin’ in the laundry and ended up eating dinner with her at Denny’s next door.
I came back to the hotel room and stayed up a little too late getting organized and working on my feet. I’m not sure what tomorrow will look like. I want to take the Mt. Taylor Alternate so I can climb that peak. It will be the highest so far at over 11,000 feet. To get up and over it is about 25-27 miles away. I might leave a little later in the morning and camp before it, going over it the next morning. We shall see!
I was so grateful for Michele’s kindness and help today, and for the comfort of this bed I will sleep in tonight!