We had a nostalgic and easy 2 days from Deming to Columbus. On OCTOBER 27th, we reunited with Yas (he’d done the hard-core cacti bushwack through the Florida Mountains that we’d bypassed). Yas said the bushwack wasn’t too bad, but we also had to pick a dozen cactus spines out of his back from when he’d fallen on a cactus. In Colombus, New Mexico (a town known for its 1916 attack by Pancho Villa) we breakfasted before setting off on our final 3 mile road walk. Dan had made a star as a monument for our finish since Jonathan Ley’s maps use stars to mark out segments on the trail. (Rather than going point to point, we go star to star… and we were approaching our final star!)
The finish was the in many ways the complete opposite of our Pacific Crest Trail finish in Canada. Instead of endless trees, there were cacti. In place of a strip of clear cut trees, there was a strip mall with a Family Dollar. Rather than solitude, Mexicans and Americans alike (along with plenty of Border Patrol Officials) milled about the streets. But the best part was rather than an 8 mile walk to civilization and food, we just had a 8 minute stroll into the town of Palomas, Mexico.
We’d debated whether or not we should enter Mexico since Palomas is nearby Juarez which is in the midst of a dangerous drug war. But in the end it seemed safe and we were so glad we decided to enter Mexico. At The Pink Store were treated like celebrities. The owner shouted out to everyone (in Spanish and English) that we’d just walked from Canada and treated us to margaritas. We dined on muy ricos burritos and fajitas as a mariachi bands played. It was the perfect way to celebrate our (approximately) 2,800 mile journey on foot from Canada to Mexico. Naomi, Mike’s wife, had flown in for the occasion too. Yes, The Pink Store is a total tourist trap, full of handcrafted Mexican folk art and retired American couples, but it was heavenly! (Besides, of those retired couples bought us a round of drinks!)