Never get involved with a thru-hiker when an all-you-can-eat meal is on the line. I had something like 15 miles to do before 11:30 when Ghost Ranch stops selling tickets for lunch, so I hauled apples all morning and rolled up to the cashier at 11:31 without even bothering to look twice at my barbed-wire-gouged bleeding arm. I'm not usually one for fast mornings, usually I'm lucky to do 10 before 1, but not if there's an AYCE at stake.
Here's why I'm an idiot. I didn't apply for one of Patagonia's two $3000 "Dirtbag Grants" before the May 1 deadline. I'm an idiot because I am a total dirtbag. Not in the sleazy pedophile way, but in the old-fashioned cheap fly by the seat of your pants hopping over barbed wire fences adventurer sort of way. I rolled into Cuba, NM on Sunday and wanted to do laundry, only I needed to launder every item of clothing I have, and neither of the two laundromats in town had a lost and found I could grab some "loaners" from. So I found a pair of Dockers on the street and wore them while my clothes were in the wash. OK, they weren't literally on the street, but kind of on a park bench, and they were neatly folded and pressed, but still I'm guessing most people don't do stuff like that. Nor do you dry yourself with paper towels after taking a shower in a public place where you've got no towel, but that's what I just did.
Ghost Ranch is a pretty rad education center/retreat near Abiquiu, NM. Georgia O'Keeffe lived here for a long time. It's up there with Stehekin, WA on the list of cool places on the trail that normal people (my folks included) would like for a vacation. Also, if anyone ever happens to pass through Cuba, NM for any reason, El Bruno's has perhaps the best Mexican food I've ever had.
I've apparently hiked 577 miles so far. I'm having a really good time. If my sister ever expects to get a phone call from me, she should quit sending me job announcements :) I'm having small problems (I got a raging case of athlete's foot from the shower in Pie Town, it eats away at the hard dead skin on my feet, making them softer and more prone to blisters) that prevent me from doing huge 35+ days, but I never do really short days either, so things are OK. I've seen some beautiful mesa country in the past few days where I've had to go 28 miles without water, and I've also battled my way through snow at the tops of Mt. Taylor and San Pedro peaks.
No more time, I've got to get moving.