CDT Day 30 (NM – Grants to Cuba)

La Tierra del Encanto

  • CDT Miles: 565.5-590.7 (25.2)
  • Total Hiked: 498.8
  • Elevation Range: 5,940-8,340

The routine I’ve pretty much been sticking to is: get up, pack up, hike for a few hours (3-ish), take second breakfast (30 mins to an hour), hike for another few hours (3-ish), stop for lunch (1 hour-ish), hike for a few more hours (4-5 ish), make camp. Obviously, there’s more to it and there are exceptions, but generally that’s the basic idea.

I’ll let you guess which chunk of hiking was my favorite of the day…

Got going just a tad after 6:00am and it was easy strolling. I was very happy to finally get off Forest Road 239! It felt like I’d been on it forever. Around 9:00am. I took a side trail to get some water from a spring. All the on-trail sources had comments such as, “yuck,” and “filter clogger,” whereas this one said “cold, clear, and plentiful.” The side trail was about a half mile, but the most scenic spot of the day up to that point. Took breakfast down by the water.

On the way to the spring…

After lunch was pretty cruisy too, but I got some nice trail as opposed to two-track. And, it seemed the topography was slightly more up and down, which was nice actually since still very mellow.

I stopped for lunch right before a very dramatic change in elevation (see the screenshot I took, dropping from 8,000 to 6,000 feet over 2-miles. I met a guy with the trail name, Metric Ton there. Turns out he’s from Holland, MI and went to Hope. Even though bitter rivals, on trail we all get along. It was fun chatting with him.

As I was leaving lunch another hiker, Abe Lincoln, showed up. This guy is attempting what’s called the Great Western Loop which combines the CDT, PCT, Pacific Northwest Trail, and a few others in giant 6,000-mile-plus loop. No big deal for honest Abe.

Heres on the way to lunch…

I started getting really excited when I got to this overlook. Turns out I’ve been on a sort of mesa and I found the edge!

The classic question… baby agave or giant asparagus?

Saw some patchy burned areas…

Post-lunch, I descended into the “canyon,” or whatever landform (or combo of landforms)) you call this incredible place. As I decended, I got hot and I got thirsty. I filled up again, this time 4.5 liters since a long day stretch going forward. Quite the rad unique scene walking through here!

I’ve started my messing around with time lapses again, so hope you don’t get dizzy…

It didn’t take Mr. Lincoln long to pass me by 🙂

And, looking back at the mesa I’d just come down, I spotted what I can only assume is an Olympic ski jumping practice area…

So much cool stuff this afternoon!

Looking back at the trail I’d just walked…

And ahead…

Check out this green dude. I started seeing em sun-bathing on the cairns.

Down, and down again. So many layers working my way to lowest wash…

No water at the bottom, just sand and some invasive Tamarisk along the sides…

Then it was starting my way up and out the other side, continuing to the northeast.

It was quite gentle and flat-like for a ways.

Still had all the views of these neat buttes and cinder cones or whatever they are off in the distance…

Despite the beautiful scene surrounding me, I was dragging at the end of another long day. I climbed what I thought was the “other side” of the wide canyon and began looking for a camp spot. When I went up, the views back were stunning. I had service and made a call with the home team Dave H Master Trailsman and Super Strider Sheryl who were helping me by preparing a box of “snowy-mountain” gear for up ahead.

When looking for camp and not finding many tent spots (everything off trail looked like untouched/sensitive/soft soil that I didn’t want to disturb), I felt I was leaving this cool area behind and not wanting to do so yet, figured I could sleep straight on the rock cowboy camping. I attempted to get a time lapse of me setting up and such while the sun did its thing setting and such. Another learning experience, I started the video way too early and it didn’t really turn out. I’ll get this down by day 150 I’m sure. Here’s some photos though!

Album of the Day

“Down to Earth” – Stevie Wonder

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