Continental Divide 2022

  • Prelude to the CDT (7/29/2022) - I can't believe I'm getting ready to start a section-hike of the CDT, or Continental Divide Trail. It's one of the Triple Crown trails within the 11 National Scenic Trails, along with the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. It's also famous for being rugged, remote and, until recently, unsigned in many spots.
  • Day 1: Crazy Cook Monument to Big Hatchet Mountains (9/18/2022) - Can't believe I was standing at Crazy Cook Monument this morning, starting my section-hike of the CDT. I've thought about this trail for so long – it seemed so wild and daunting. But one day I realized if I was smart, I'd hike it sooner than later. I'm just getting older every year! So here I am. 
  • Day 2: Big Hatchet Mountains to Hachita Peak (9/19/2022) - Today’s trek from the Big Hatchet Mountains to the Little Hatchet Mountains was intense. And not so much fun. Just being honest. I awoke to a beautiful sunrise, and took my time packing up and having breakfast. I was on the trail by 8:15 a.m., feeling pretty good about the day.
  • Day 3: Hachita Peak to Near Vista Tank (9/20/2022) - Today’s hike from Hachita Peak to near Vista Tank was interesting, to say the least! So was last night. As I was setting up camp a few miles shy of my goal, if you recall, I’d messaged Jeffery about possibly dropping off water for me tomorrow, as I was pretty low, and the next water cache was far away. 
  • Day 4: Near Vista Tank to Water Cache 4 (9/21/2022) - I don’t want to seem like a whiner, but rather a realist, so other hikers know what to really expect. So many people downplay the hardship of various hikes. The CDT in mid-September through October is supposed to be glorious. At least before our weather got so wonky.
  • Day 5: Animas Street to Lordsburg (9/22/2022) - When hiking long distances, you have to be flexible and ready to pivot. I kind of hate doing that; I love to follow my plan. But as I looked over my itinerary, I’d need to hike roughly 25 miles (40.2 km) today to get to Lordsburg and stay on schedule. Not too bad if the […]
  • Day 6: Zero Day in Lordsburg (9/23/2022) - This is officially my first zero day. Sort of. I had to take a zero day on my 2013 thru-hike of the Ice Age Trail due to a case of cellulitis. But I never just took one to rest up. I decided to take two during this hike because, well, I’m getting older!
  • Day 7: Lordsburg to Engineer’s Windmill (9/24/2022) - Today’s trek from Lordsburg to Engineer’s Windmill started and ended well, but was not fun in the middle. Here’s the story. The first 3.3 miles (5.3 km) were great, as they were a road walk out of town. I chatted with Ed and was upbeat, as I was leaving early when it was still cool […]
  • Day 8: Engineer’s Windmill to Burro Peak Trailhead (9/25/2022) - I slept well last night. I heard one cow walking around, so I made a little grunt noise to let it know I was here. Other than that, it was nice. Not too hot, no bugs, etc. This morning dawned warm and humid, though – not a good sign.
  • Day 9: Burro Peak Trailhead to Silver City (9/26/2022) - I got up before 6 a.m. because Maria said they left early to start working. She mentioned 6:30 as a time I should be up and about if I wanted to top off my water supplies once more. So at 6:30 I wandered over, but everyone was still asleep. I topped off my water anyway; I knew they wouldn’t mind.
  • Day 10: Mt. Taylor Trailhead to Grants (9/16/2023) - A year after being forced off the Continental Divide due to a torn meniscus (which needed surgery), I'm back on the trail. This time I'm starting around Mt. Taylor north of Grants, N.M. I left off last year in the south in Silver City, so why am I resuming my hike in northern New Mexico? Two reasons.
  • Day 11: Mt. Taylor Trailhead to Mt. Taylor (9/17/2023) - As per almost any day on the trail, today’s trek up Mt. Taylor was full of surprises. My trail angels, Carole and Hugo, set aside the day to help me. Hugo picked me up from my motel and dropped me off at the trailhead. It was 8:30. The forecast was for a pleasant day with some clouds. Perfect!
  • Day 12: Mt. Taylor to Near Cattle Guard (9/19/2023) - I woke up at 6:00 a.m. today, hoping to get an early start to reach a sweet camping spot south of a cattle guard. It would be about 17 miles (27.4 km). There was an owl in a tree right near my tent. It didn’t stir as I got out of the tent, then back in to get my camera and take a picture. Too cool. Then it hooted twice and flew away.
  • Day 12: Mt. Taylor to Near Cattle Guard (9/18/2023) - I woke up at 6:00 a.m. today, hoping to get an early start to reach a sweet camping spot south of a cattle guard. It would be about 17 miles (27.4 km). There was an owl in a tree right near my tent. It didn’t stir as I got out of the tent, then back in to get my camera and take a picture. Too cool. Then it hooted twice and flew away.
  • Day 21: Gila River to Doc Campbell’s (9/27/2023) - Ed and I were stoked to get to Doc Campbell’s today. We’d have a shower, be able to do laundry and maybe even score a burger and beer. We struck out in the morning with a positive attitude. We could do this!
  • Day 13: Near Cattle Guard to Cistern Area (9/19/2023) - The hike to the cistern area featured the usual: the good, the bad and the ugly. Last night, my ORV neighbors headed out around 8 or 9 p.m. They appeared to use the spot in front of my (hidden) tent as their rendezvous point with their friends. I heard them again around 5 a.m. I’m almost positive they’re elk hunting. Everyone is that I’ve met.
  • Day 14: Cistern Area to Trujillo Water Cache (9/20/2023) - Today’s trek to the Trujillo water cache was very beautiful, but very difficult. This morning I struck out at 7:30 a.m., not sure whether I wanted to try to make it to the Trujillo water cache (about 22 miles/35.4 km) or stop a few miles short, knowing I could fill up pretty quickly in the morning.
  • Day 15: Trujillo Water Cache to Jones Canyon Spring (9/21/2023) - I thought today’s hike to Jones Canyon Spring would be a walk in the park. After all, I’d start out full of water and only be hiking about 15 miles (24.1 km), compared to yesterday’s 22 (35.4 km). Ha!
  • Day 16: Jones Canyon Spring to Cuba (9/22/2023) - I woke up stoked for the hike into Cuba. It was another short day and the last several miles were on the road. It would be a breeze! The hike began with a long, gradual downhill, but a mesa loomed ahead. I was sure I’d have to climb it, as I knew I had one big climb in the morning. Yep!
  • Day 17: Cuba to Just Outside Cuba (9/23/2023) - So today’s hike to “outside Cuba” is kind of a joke. Last night I stayed at the Chaco Lodge Hacienda, a small B&B operated by Denny Herrera, the same guy who owns the Phillips66 in town. The gas station, by the way, has an enormous New Mexican food menu and has lots of accolades on Trip Advisor for serving the best huevos rancheros with green chili sauce in the state (I hope I have that description accurate).
  • Day 18: Silver City to Bear Creek (9/24/2023) - Today’s hike to Bear Creek was … a bear (sorry). And this is despite yesterday’s (mostly) zero day. But yesterday wasn’t an easy zero day. I walked about 7 miles (00 km) in and out of Cuba, plus drove with Ed for nearly six hours down to Silver City. It was exhausting.
  • Day 18: Silver City to Bear Creek (9/24/2023) - Today’s hike to Bear Creek was … a bear (sorry). And this is despite yesterday’s (mostly) zero day. But yesterday wasn’t an easy zero day. I walked about 7 miles (00 km) in and out of Cuba, plus drove with Ed for nearly six hours down to Silver City. It was exhausting.
  • Day 19: Bear Creek to Sapillo Creek (9/25/2023) - The trek to Sapillo Creek was a day from hell. Sorry to say that, but it’s true. This was day two of our hike along the much-acclaimed Gila River Alternate, said to be stunning. Yesterday, as you read, the trail was anything but. So we thought today was the day for the beauty and amazing-ness. NOT.
  • Day 20: Sapillo Creek to Gila River (9/26/2023) - Well, my much anticipated hike along the Gila River was not at all what I’d hoped and dreamed. Not remotely close. I knew this alternate route meant you’d cross the river 200 times and have wet feet. No problem.
  • Day 22: Doc Campbell’s to Meadows Campsite (9/28/2023) - The last few days were so taxing on this Gila River Alternate that I was having doubts about my hike. Should I hike on? Maybe I should bail and go home with Ed. Maybe I’m too old to be doing this stuff alone. It’s OK to change a goal you’ve set for yourself.  Ed wanted […]
  • Day 23: Meadows Campsite to Gila High Route (9/29/2023) - I hoped for better trail today, so that I could stay on the Gila Middle Fork and not have to take the Gila High Route. Alas, it was not to be. First, on an early-morning water crossing I inadvertently chose a route that took me through water up to my crotch. Not good.
  • Day 24: Gila High Route to Bursum Road (9/30/2023) - Oh my goodness, this trail is going to kill me! I had a decent night’s sleep, anticipating a relatively easy hike to Bursum Road. An hour or so after dark, while I was drowsing off, I saw an orange light on one side of my tent.
  • Day 25: Bursum Road to CDT (10/1/2023) - I’m so over this hike! Today began quite well. The first 16 or so miles (25.8 km) were the end of the northern section of the Gila River Alternate, and all of it was a road walk.
  • Day 26: CDT to Reserve (10/2/2023) - Oh my goodness! After my late-day struggles yesterday, I set up camp in what I thought was a peaceful spot. Little wind, flat, great camping. NOT!
  • Day 27: Zero Day in Reserve (10/3/2023) - This was my first true zero day, and boy did I enjoy it! I spent most of the day catching up on emails and posting trail journals. Went back to the grocery store to get fruit, salads, a microwaveable burrito and some ice cream, among other yummy things.
  • Day 28: Reserve to Pie Town Alternate (10/4/2023) - I was sort of anxious to get going this morning on the Pie Town Alternate, as I feel the need to get home and take care of some parental issues. Leslie and her mother dropped me off this morning at 8:30, telling me they thought the route would be pretty flat. Yay!
  • Day 29: Pie Town Alternate to Toaster House (10/5/2023) - I was pretty excited to hike to Pie Town today and stay at its famous Toaster House. Last night was pretty cold – I’m guessing in the upper 30s F (=3.3 C). It wasn’t too bad sleeping, but getting up before dawn wasn’t fun.
  • Day 30: Toaster House to TLC Ranch (10/6/2023) - I didn’t set out for today’s goal, TLC Ranch, until 11 a.m. It was such a luxurious start to the day! I had to wait until the post office opened at 8 a.m. to get my resupply box, so I slept in until 7 a.m. The other guests had a similar schedule.
  • Day 31: TLC Ranch to Cebolla Alternate (10/7/2023) - Today’s trek to and along the Cebolla Alternate was full of surprises, like pretty much most days. But first, about last night. I’d heard from trail angel Carole Mumm that several hikers were hoping to hit TLC Ranch last night. Sure enough, when I was settled in my tent after dark, I heard some noise.
  • Day 32: Cebolla Alternate to El Malpais (10/8/2023) - Today’s trek to El Malpais National Monument was decent. I let myself sleep in a little, since I knew I had a lot of easy road-walking today. No sense getting up when it was freezing, either. The first several miles followed the same dirt jeep road as yesterday, with a few sandy spots. But it […]
  • Day 33: El Malpais to Grants (10/9/2023) - Today's hike to Grants what I wasn't expecting. But in hiking, I've come to learn, nothing is what you expect! I had a good night's sleep on the campsite from the lovely couple from St. Cloud, Minnesota. We both broke camp around the same time and said fond farewells. Then I was on my way.

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