CDT Day 20 (NM – Doc’s to Pie Town)

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

CDT Miles: 359.7-380.8 (21.1)
Total Hiked: 310.4 miles
Elevation Range: 7,030-8,870

Like I mentioned at the end of the last post, my trend seems to be getting within striking distance of water for the early morning stretch. I had less than half a liter again and about 6 miles to water this time. The trail was especially tranquil this morning. Still feeling. The only noise being my foot steps and the birds many different songs.

The first bit was downhill for the most part. Then, it flattened out to a few big meadows.

And soon, it was pretty much all Pinyon – Juniper Forest. Since a lot of folks probably don’t know what those are, figured I’d do a little tree identification today, but keep in mind, I’m only an amateur tree’er and this could all be blasphemous.

Pinyon pine are sort of scraggly in my opinions. They don’t seem to have one central straight trunk, but branch out..

There’s a ton of different Junipers. Most of these are what I’ve heard called alligator juniper because of there bark, I assume.

But also some of the more bush-like ones with shreddy-like bark.

Here’s looking back where I’d come down the mountain…

To get to the water, I had to leave the CDT. A road runs parallel to it for about 2 miles and reconnects and along that road theres a tank of water. I was happy to learn, clear, wondrous, flowing water straight from the well even!

And… there were fish in the tank! Yep, that a pretty decent sized koi fish. Lots of tiny orange goldfish too haha

Filtered 4 liters straight away in case the well stopped and I’d have to grab from the fish tank (still would’ve been better water than I’ve had the last couple days). Had breakfast then too. And my Dutch folks might enjoy seeing my treat for the day…

Stroopwafel! Unfortunately, my blue super cup is too big so I couldn’t “warm it up, on your cup” like it says on the package, with a little picture of the waffle on top of the mug.

Also tried a new coffee mix today. I barista’d some vanilla instant breakfast with two packets of coffee. I tried the single before with vanilla and wasn’t loving the taste, but two was just right. Seems to be the ticket, but I may have to research how excessive an amount of caffeine that is. Maybe y’all can help me out. Two instant packets compared to say, a “regular” drip cup of coffee?

I was tired of worrying about water, so took 4.5 liters which I thought was a healthy amount for the day.

It wasn’t long hiking after break before I met Highway 12, which gives access to the town of Reserve.

Quite a few hikers I’d talked to planned to stop there, but I have enough food to get me to Pie Town. So, continued on ahead. There was a junction for another alternate on the other side of the highway and I decided to keep trekking on the CDT route.

The low elevation point had been near my water/breakfast spot and so I slowly started climbing up again. It got windy too and would be gusty the rest of the day. Pretty views looking out. The trees looked polka-dot-like to me.

I got up out of the openness before taking lunch. High enough in elevation to be back in primarily Ponderosa’s. It was a great spot hidden from the wind behind some trees.

I was kind of cruising today using the slow is smooth, smooth is fast methodology I got from my old coworker, Kev. So much so, that I wasn’t worried about getting my miles and decided to check all the water sources (near the trail at least) and put comments into Guthooks for the hikers behind me. The info. in there was pretty dated.

The rocks I’ve been seeing lately all appear to be volcanic from my professional geologist opinion. I’m saying this one here is basalt, borderline vesicular basalt based on all the little gas bubbles that formed from rapid cooling of the lava.

Not sure how many CDT signs I’ve posted. I liked this one.

A few of the water sources (or at least sources where there was water at one time in history) were located down in these valleys within the forest. I thought they were neat. Would’ve been a whole lot nicer if the springs were actually flowing, but mainly just nasty cow ponds.

Later in the day I saw my first hiker on this red CDT line. I hadn’t met him before but found out his name is Karl and he knew all the info. about the trail. I suggested the nickname of Guidebook, but don’t think it took. He said he’s been planning it for 30 years or something.

As I neared the last water source for the day, I spotted three elken running through the woodsen. I wouldve missed them, but saw a dust cloud ahead and then noticed their movement through the trees. Very cool.

The last spring of the day had a tiny trickle and allowed me to fill enough to let me feel ok about getting to the next source tomorrow morning. The pond it drains into looks quite pretty, and was one of the better ponds by far, but still is murky despite how it looks in the photo.

From the spring, I made the mistake of climbing up the steep hillside back to the CDT. Should’ve gone backwards to a road, but stupidly battled straight up the sucker. I only went a little bit after before finding a nice camp spot.

While setting up and starting to make dinner, I realized, no spoon! I believe I left it at my Ponderosa wind-sheltered lunch spot sadly. There are worse things to lose out here of course, like a shoe. Or my filter. Those would certainly be worse. So, staying positive, I carved one with knife. Pretty sad looking, but did the job. When I get a new spoon though I’m going to put some 👉 nk duct tape , because in hindsight the grey was quite camouflage.

Even sitting at camp, lovely plant life and lovely lighting.

“Horticulture baby!” – Coach Beard (Ted Lasso)

Album of the Day

Into the Mystery NEEDTOBREATHE

Audiobook of the Day

Finished “Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr

So, I thought of writing a bit about my thoughts on the book, but decided against it in the end, mainly because of time. That’s one takeaway from it though is that audiobooks are tough for me to absorb. I might consider taking along a journal to actually write thoughts down in because when just listening I tend to forget quickly. Overall, there were things I agreed with and liked in this one, things I strongly disagreed with, and lots of things that were just over my head. And I suppose that’s pretty good. It’s good to be challenged I think. Going forward, I hope to find some more thought provoking material and some have already reached out giving me some ideas. So, if you feel like conversing about Richard Rohr or or have some book/podcasts ideas, feel free to reach out!

4 thoughts on “CDT Day 20 (NM – Doc’s to Pie Town)

  1. Did you see many Meese in the Woodsen? or just the Elken? 😉 Some of the terrain in these pictures makes me wonder if you’ll find any “cooks” working out of their motorhome. Hopefully not… they probably are not very good people.
    I’ve been listening to Falling Upward a bit too and listening to some of Rohr on some podcasts. A lot of it rings true for me. But it’s certainly challenging stuff.


  2. Sumi has a new friend for his travels along the CDT. Sumi looks much happier.
    I see you have some PFG gear. Did you wet your line in some of the Gila Wilderness
    river pools? Some of those pools looked as if they were just waiting for a Professional Fishing
    Gear enthusiast to hook up with a lunker trout.


  3. jimnewheights

    The pinyon or piñon pine group grows in southwestern North America, especially in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The trees yield edible nuts, which are a staple food of Native Americans, and widely eaten as a snack and as an ingredient in New Mexican cuisine.
    They say the nuts from the Pinion Pine saved the indigenous people from starvation.

    Liked by 1 person

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