June 9-11, 396 miles hiked
Radar brought us back to the trail and back to reality the next morning, and we started hiking where we’d left off the previous day. Soon, the dirt road turned into a trail, which wound through a grassy canyon before rising onto another dirt road. It was so hot. We hiked on towards the next water source while the sky darkened. By the time we got there, the wind was blowing furiously and it had begun to rain. The windmill was apparently not working, so we continued on down the dirt road, which had now turned to slippery red clay.
The trail then followed Highway 117 towards El Malpais National Monument, which featured a rim trail overlooking a huge area covered in lava, which we would hike across. We camped on the rim that evening. The next morning, we headed out onto the Acoma-Zuni trail, which traverses eight miles across the lava.
After the lava, we wound through Bonito Canyon, hiking into the evening while listening to podcasts. The next morning, we woke early to hike the remaining 12 miles into Grants, knowing we had to get there before the post office closed at 12. We speed walked down Zuni Canyon road, its canyon walls rising on either side. We got to a McDonalds on the outskirts of town and scarfed down three pancakes, three cookies, three egg mcmuffins, and hash browns. Somehow, I still felt hungry after all of that.
Grants was a spread out, rather depressing town full of boarded up businesses and lots of those check cashing places. We walked another three miles down the main road to the other end of town towards the chain hotels and got a room at the Super 8. When we get to town, often all I want to do is lay in bed and watch tv. We did this for awhile, then bought some resupply food at Wal-Mart and ordered pizza, watching episode after episode of Naked and Afraid until we could no longer keep our eyes open.