Hitting the CDT
It took us a day and a half to drive from our home near Los Angeles to the beginning leg of our ride in New Mexico, and we spent the night between at a horse camp that I discovered last year while riding the AZT. I then drove to a trailhead north of the town of Lordsburg, NM, where I set up my portable corrals for the horses and let them recover from the road trip.
After spending a couple days getting acquainted with the area around Lordsburg, I finally hit the CDT today. I had originally planned to drop a water cache in the desert for this first night, but due to barbwire fences and challenging dirt roads, I was unable to get access to the place where I wanted to leave my 15 gallon cache that we were going to use to dry camp. So plan B became camping in the town of Lordsburg itself. It took several phone calls but I eventually got permission to use the local rodeo grounds for the night.
During the day we mainly wandered through a combination of single track trail and dirt roads. Due to the presence of fences without gates just north of town, I took a service road into the back side of town. I was very fortunate because there was one locked gate that the local power company uses to access the power lines. Just as I arrived at the gate, three service trucks pulled up behind me as it was the end of the work day. They kindly let the horses and me out, and we walked 5 miles on a quiet paved road. Water sources were plentiful in the beginning, but we did have to travel the last 11 miles into town without a drink. The horses were very happy to get into corrals at the rodeo grounds and have access to hay and water all night long.