On our own again . . .
After dropping my mom off at the airport on Saturday, I spent Sunday doing chores like Laundry and then driving the horses over to Silver City. Because of a 13 mile roadwalk just south of Silver City, I decided to make camp off of a dirt road at a cattle trough and pen. This way in the morning all I had to do was load up the horses, drive to the trailhead north of Silver City at mile 173, and then ride without carrying any gear back to our camp at the cattle trough at mile 146.
So on Monday morning I drove back through Silver City to the trailhead. The first 7 miles out of the trailhead were in beautiful wooded trail. After riding through the bootleg of New Mexico last week I had practically forgotten what trees even looked like! After those first 7 miles I joined up with a dirt road, which quickly turned into blacktop and we meandered into suburban Silver City over 6 miles. I was able to get some water for the horses from a fire station that we passed; otherwise it was a VERY dry stretch. At least I was riding with minimal equiptment, since everything had been left at the corral where we were headed, and that made it easier on all of us. Takoda got to be ponied along without his pack saddle, and Shyla only had me to carry, without any cumbersome saddle bags or my backpack weighing me down.
By 2pm we reached Hwy 180 that I would be riding on the shoulder of for 13 miles. Let me tell you, that was a looooong three hours. Man, are road walks boring! I know some long distance riders travel exclusively on back roads across country, but I need the wilderness and the views to make this all worthwhile. Thankfully the traffic was very considerate and the horses handled everything perfectly. We got to camp by 6pm where there was a cattle corral and water tank and plenty of food waiting, so the horses were very happy.