CDT Day 31 (NM – Grants to Cuba)

Level Up, Level Down


  • CDT Miles: 590.7-619.4 (28.7)
  • Total Hiked: 527.5
  • Elevation Range: 6,340- 7,380

“First of all, a cookie is always a big deal…” – David in Schitt’s Creek

I was sort of right and sort of wrong last night in thinking I was leaving the canyon-like area. I briefly went through some pinyon-juniper stuff, but then things opened up again and the rest of the day was a spectacular hike up and down ridges, cliffs, and other unique sandstone landforms.

It wasn’t long and I was hiking up this steep section to get to the next layer…

I was really enjoyed this stretch. The trail wound its way around on a sort of bench, with a cliff wall to my left and cliff drop down to my right.

Down…

And back up. I’ll stop with that, but that’s what it was today. I was happy for trail because it was such a better experience than road, actually getting into all the layers. Tough hiking at times though.

This is why, when I worked on trails, I was told we don’t use rebar to hold beams or rocks in place anymore (a bit hazardous having those sticking up!)…

The steps did help though. It was such a steep section I would have otherwise had to have my hands on the rock to climb up. Once up, it was a pretty stellar view looking out over the wide landscape.

And, I got to hang out up there for a while, just cruising along the edge. Not wanting to leave it, I took a bit of an earlier second breakfast at a sweet spot looking out.

while eating, I heard two hikers coming my way. The one was telling the other about the city of Detroit, so when they got near I asked, “A fellow Michigander?” Turns out Bird is indeed a Detroit suburbanite and he was hiking with Pasta from Las Vegas. I’d see them a bit today.

My first water source today was a water cache (bottles filled up my a kind trail angel living in the area and placed at a strategic point along the trail). I think its the first cache I’ve used since my first section with the CDTC’s 5 stocked caches. I don’t like to rely to on them because you never know if there’s actually going to be any or not. But before that, I saw this familiar trailer camper parked ahead…

I’ve mentioned Com and Checklist a few times now and this is there setup. As I walked up to knock, out came Checklist. Perfect timing. We chatted and I got the latest news from up/down the trail of the various hikers we both know. Com was ahead of me a few miles, but overall we seem to be going similar paces. Before leaving I was gifted a lovely treat, a Zuni cookie she bought nearby! It was very tasty and had a spice to it that made me think of licorice.

Onward.

And some color!

This next one I nearly walked by, but after spotting it did an audible, “Whoa!”

The first pink cactus bloom I’ve found out here. And, I was still up on the cliff edge and seeing these awesome rock formations off in the distance…

And I couldn’t help myself taking more pics of these green liz’s. They pose for the camera.

And couldn’t help myself taking more cliff edge pics…

I feel the pics don’t always give the best feel of what it’s like, so trying new techniques haha. Here’s another time lapse try.

So, I came pretty close to a monumental CDT achievement yesterday, but not til early this morning did it happen… 500 miles! Woot woot. I wasn’t really feeling the 6am dance vid, so this afternoon I got in the spirit and gave it my best. Never said I was good at these 😎 I particularly like how I zoom into the shot, my heads cut off most of the time, and about a minute in where I just stare at the camera open mouthed haha. This is another song from my namesake, called “A Place in the Sun “

Pretty awesome place to celebrate this feat…

My tired, climbing up a hill, yet intrigued face.

I’m learning that when doing these bigger days, up until lunch I’m pumped. After lunch, for first few hours, I’m ok. But getting in the 4:00pm and later time frame, I’m moving slow. I was dragging when I bumped into two guys from London hiking. Together we made it to this spring, the last water source of the day for me. It was about quarter to six.

To give me the energy I needed, I was ecstatic to find this cosmic brownie.

I promise it’s just a brownie folks, a Little Debbie one. But, the reason I was so excited enough to take a pic was that I thought I’d dropped it at one point in the day, even going as far as backtracking to look for it, for like 10 minutes in the opposite direction. I’d given up hope, but found it here at the spring in a different pocket. Boom, off to the races I was! It helped that it was relatively flat for a while.

Until this wall. That’s right folks, just a small end of the day climb to the top!

It was a steep scramble. Impressive that they could even build a trail up the thing. Awesome views though, including a New Mexico Thor’s Hammer (and Stormbreaker too?)

Made it!

And managed to find a pretty stellar cowboy camping spot.

Now that was a big day!

Album of the Day

“Strange Trails” – Lord Huron

Audiobook of the Day

Started and Finished “Letter to a Christian Nation” – Sam Harris

2 thoughts on “CDT Day 31 (NM – Grants to Cuba)

  1. jimnewheights

    What a great day for you. New Mexico has some of the most interesting terrain. Chris and I have volunteered at Rehoboth several times and the hikes around Gallop are amazing. The sandstone colors, formations and views are such a different world.

    Like

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