The List of Firsts, Part 1

Hello from Arizona! This week I’ve been taking it easy. I’m kicking back at a relative’s house while I wait for the rest of The Push Beyond gang to get here on March 3. I’ve been doing some cool day hikes, but aside from that there really isn’t much to write about.

You know how your favorite TV show sometimes has those episodes where the plot doesn’t advance at all, but they’re still really fun to watch? This blog post is going to be kind of like that. A filler post, if you will.

One day while I was hiking along on the CDT, I decided to keep track of all the things I’d done for the first time on this trip. Having only ever been out west twice before, the list is sure to be long and interesting. This is by no means a complete or finished list, since I’m going to be out here for a long time. This is instead, the first of probably six-ish segments of “The List of Firsts.” Let’s dive right in.

  • Been to New Mexico – Pretty self explanatory.
  • Listened to coyotes howl – This happened on night one. I woke up to a chorus of coyotes in the middle of the night and could not figure out what was going on. It sounded like children laughing. The next morning Google informed me that it was actually coyotes killing something.
  • Eaten Pad Thai – It was a free Good-To-Go meal but still.
  • Drank Elderberry Fizz – Shout out to the Ravenswing Farm, where we got home brewed beer and soda for me.
  • Cows – Literally any interaction with cows. Sure, I’ve seen them before. But chased them away from a water source? Been stared down by them while journaling? Yeah.
  • Been the “first hiker of the season” – As proclaimed by Brendon at Triple Crown Hostel in Silver City.
  • Decided I enjoy bluegrass – You get real sick of your own music real fast. So I tried someone else’s music for once and now I’m obsessed.
  • Been to the Gila National Forest – Also pretty self explanatory.
  • Went skinny dipping in a hot spring – TREAT YO SELF.
  • Hiked up to 8,000 feet – Where did all the air go?
  • Seen a javelina – It was actually more like five.
  • Been to Arizona – Also pretty self explanatory.
  • Heard a rattlesnake rattle – My aunt took me to this venomous reptiles exhibit, and there was one snake being kept up high out of view because it wasn’t used to people yet. One guy sees the cage and gets curious, so he puts his phone up to it to see, and the snake DID NOT appreciate it.
  • Tried prickly pear fudge – Prickly Pear is a cactus and it has a fruit. It has a very unique taste, I can’t describe it or compare it to anything I know.
  • Hiked in the Superstition Wilderness – what a cool place.
  • Been stabbed by a cactus – I didn’t even notice until I looked down and saw the needle sticking out of my kneecap. Pulling it out hurt more than I thought it would too.

There you have it! I think this will be a fun project for me to continue to work on during my time out west. This list encompasses my section of the CDT and my week and a half long layover in Arizona. Stay tuned for updates!