As I pass one of the gates, I come upon a sad sight. I presume he was a coyote, but it's not quite clear how he died.

It looks like he just keeled over and was done, and it looks like it happened recently. I will call him Feivel. I wonder if it was Covid.

I'm sorry Feivel. I will forever remember you.

After much weaving, the trail becomes an easily identifiable path of a dirt road, albeit packed to the brim with pointless ups and downs (PUDs).

There's a point where the signs deviate from the trail itself and lead you nowhere. Fortunately, I check the map early enough to not get too much off-route.

A bit later, the trail follows a hidden gate down a stream bed to a most delightful canyon that clearly operates as a wash during rains.

Both sides are obstructed by tall hills, forming a slalom of sand.

It's clearly used by 4 wheelers, but it's just sand, so there's not a lot of damage.

It's quite pleasant, and a very mild walk. This is the second day wherein walking the route feels quite nice, and I'm happy that both my body and emotional state are adapting to this new reality.

I'm moving along at a nice clip, but as the sun starts to set, I realize I'm really close to the highway.

Some dogs run up to me, clearly wanting to say hello by licking my hands, and take off.

Leap into the sky, great Goliath gargoyle.
They came, as it becomes clear when I round the next curve, from 5-7 people in trucks towing dune buggies.

They're in the process of taking off, but I realize that this is about 15 miles from a one-Walmart town on a Saturday night.

It's time to set up camp, but everywhere I look, I see empty shotgun shells and sharp cactus.

Hmm.

Turning around, I try to get far away from the highway as I can before sunset. I end up walking 2 miles back, which is unfortunate, but I really don't want to deal with truck people tonight.

Truck people can be the worst, particularly those that might be in college, coming out here to blow off steam.

One wonders if the cows around here have been terrorized by truck people.

I try not to presume. But I am biased.

I find a reasonable camp spot several feet away from cacti, and partially under a tree.

To be safe, I'm putting all my gear in the bivy again, in case any riff-raff from the nearest town come out here tonight.

It's a little cramped, but it's manageable.

Tomorrow is a highway walk into Silver City. 15 miles of highway with a small shoulder.

It's not ideal. But it must be done.

25 miles today. Not bad for a leisurely stroll.