Greetings from Grants, NM, where the houses aren't just pre-fab, they're pre-fabulous! Marcus has kept you pretty well up to date, so I'll just fill you in on the last couple days. There was a terrible thunderstorm on Monday on my way out of Pie Town, but I happened upon a dilapidated cabin by the road (all was flat for miles around, there was no way to lose elevation) and chilled there till it passed. I knew to expect daily afternoon storms in CO, but I had no idea they happened in NM too. I got a little lost in the afternoon when the CDTS books and Jonathan Ley's maps didn't really line up, but no biggy. Yesterday I chilled in a picnic area port-a-pottie for a few minutes waiting for the storm to pass, then walked along the very cool rim of the Narrows near La Ventana natural arch and crossed the El Malpais lava field, and there was a good bit of paved road walking yesterday and today. Roadwalking down a paved canyon where the ditch is full of trash with a forty mile an hour headwind and crossing over major freeways (I-40) is awesome.
Other than the fact that paved road and lava walking is totally painful, everything is going well. I've seen 17 other thru or big section hikers (in reverse order the names I remember: Mark, Jim, Crazy Horse, Snappy, Puff-Puff, Skygod, Red, Gary, Haiku, Greyhound, Koop, Nemo, Pouch, Bams, Witch Doctor, and I started at the border with Cheers). I'm a day ahead of schedule, and I'm doing close to 200 a week, but I'd like to be doing more. I picked up my next bunch of maps at the PO, and I'll be headed out after a meal.