Dyer and Riches: CDT Thru-Hikers
May 10, 2000: Day 8 We decided that we needed to hitch into Silver City (44 miles away) to get a few supplies. It was the first time we've tried our hand at hitching on this trip.
"Leave this to me, Dazza," Simon said with an air of confidence as he pulled out his oversized union jack hanky and placed it strategically on his pack. I went and layed myself down under a nearby tree, not knowing how long we'd have to wait. Not long at all as it turned out. The second car we saw stopped. Apparently the English flag trick had worked. The folks who stopped were helping out with the Gila Bike Tour: Shawn and Sharon Melancon and their three enthusiastic kids, AJ (8), Hans (6), and Alexis (3). As we settled into the back of their Suburban, I enquired if they had stopped because of the English flag. "Hell no. If I'd seen that I'd have ran straight over it," said Shawn. So much for the Brits.
That ride into town turned into an astounding account of generosity. The Melancons insisted that we stay at their house, drove us around town to do our errands, and filled us with beer, juice, and a magnificent steak dinner. It was a feast fit for a king, even better than my own mother's cooking (sorry Mum). Shawn showed us his collection of Indian artifacts and spoke so passionately about the culture and history of the Southwest that we are eager to return one day. We soon realized that although our hike will take us through some amazing parts of this state, we'll also be missing a whole lot of places that would be well worth coming back to see. Next day, Shawn took three hours off work to escort us back to the trailhead.
We were amazed by the kindness of the Melancons, and deeply thank Shawn, Sharon, AJ, Hans, and Alexis for welcoming us into their home and to New Mexico.
P.S. The Melancons will have puppies for sale real soon if anyone is interested.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication