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Since I only had to walk 15 miles today—from Alamogordo (elev. 4,336’) to Tularosa (elev. 4,508’)—I took my time leaving this morning. I had another excellent omelette and pancakes at IHOP (with cheerful service by Crystal, who confirmed that yes, she’d once been a model), and was on the road at 8:15 am.

It was soon apparent that the highway was under construction. While this is often bad news for a walker, it wasn’t bad news for me—two lanes were blocked off by cones, so I was able to walk for over two hours on a lane I had all to myself.

In Tularosa, my motel reservation was at an “iffy” place, and I was hoping to find one of two elusive B&Bs I’d seen online. Sadly, neither currently exists.

While sitting on my camp stool and looking at my phone in front of a nice home on 2nd St., the friendly homeowner came out to see what I was up to. After hearing my story he invited me to stay the night in a neat shed in his backyard (away from his two exuberant dogs). I accepted, of course, and later spent a couple of hours chatting with Jerry, a retired children’s book publisher and British folk music aficionado, and his partner, Ed, a nurse. I am extremely happy to have met two more angels on my journey.

Artist of the day: Eddie Daniels, jazz (and classical) clarinetist and saxophonist extraordinaire. He currently lives in New Mexico. It was a real pleasure listening to 2 of his albums today.

I’ll be in the tent on Hwy 54 for the next two cold, cold nights.

@ Tularosa, New Mexico

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