Wednesday, January 2, 2008


This delicious looking breakfast is what I had as I left Cuba and headed up into the San Pedro. It was a great breakfast but the worst case of food poison I have ever experienced.

Thoughts on Cuba
From: Crossing the Divide

I hiked into Cuba, New Mexico, on a Saturday evening. It was a town of impoverished appearance. I was greeted by a group of zombie-glazed men—vacant eyes, tough wrinkled skin, tattered clothing, addicted to the hopelessness of life around them. I walked through town, surveying the opportunities to eat and sleep here for a night. I reached the northern city limits, crossed the road and walked back south, hoping I had missed something, knowing I had not.The walk from Grants had been five days with few opportunities for water. My legs were very tired, and I desperately wanted to soak in a tub of hot water and scrub the desert out of my skin. I bought a room in a dingy ’50s-era motel with a three-quarter-length tub. Filled with water as hot as I could stand, I folded my body into the shallow basin and soaked for over an hour. I would wash my clothes in this same tub but first I wanted a meal. I carried only the clothing I wore. Now that my body and my senses were cleansed, my sweat-soaked clothing had the appeal of rotted garbage. But the urge to eat a hot meal lured me into them and down the street to a small cafe. I slipped into a corner table of a mom-and-pop pizzeria under the watchful eyes of the owners. I knew what they were looking at. It was the gaunt, sun-baked, hollow-looking character I had just seen minutes earlier in the mirror in my room. I answered their questioning eyes with my story. “I’m a thru-hiker. I’m headed for Canada. I look bad and I smell bad, but I feel good.” That brought a smile to their faces. They opened up completely to my adventure. It tore down all barriers between our curiosities. In the short time it takes to enjoy a large pizza with four items, we shared each other’s life stories and were the spontaneous kind of friends that assume from introduction that we will probably never meet again but cherish the moment of fellowship at hand.
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