CDT Day 33 (New Mexico) - "San Pedro Parks Wilderness": An amazing day through an amazing section of trail. Certainly tough stuff, but the number of pics and vids I took shows just how awesome I thought it was.
CDT Day 32 (New Mexico) - Courteous and Convenient Cuba": I think today may have been my first time while thru-hiking getting into town, resupplying, and continuing on. Either way, quality stop in Cuba today!
CDT Day 32 (New Mexico) - "Level Up, Level Down": A big day on the CDT full of pretty views, interesting rock formations, good deeds from trail angels, animals, flowers, and overall just lots of up and down.
CDT Day 30 (New Mexico) - "La Tierra del Encanto": As I begin to hike more and more miles, I see more and more amazing things each single day. Today seemed to be especially special with some super interesting geologic landforms and such.
CDT Day 29 (New Mexico) - "Tenacious Trio Tackles Taylor": the adventures of Stevie Wonder, Mary Lou, an Sumi continue as the group seeks to summit 11,300 feet Mt. Taylor. Will they succeed or will the mountain defeat them?
CDT Day 28 (New Mexico) - "The Trail to Taylor": Getting back on trail after town stops can sometimes throw me off. Today, I had some of that, but the higher elevation scenery distracted me from my thoughts and transitioned right back into things.
CDT Day 27 (New Mexico) - "Groovy Grants": My goal for today was to get into the town of Grants and make my way to the Lava Flow Hostel where I'd booked a room. Also got a visit from an old pal and had good times hanging with hikers in town.
CDT Day 26 (New Mexico) - El Malpais and Bonita-Zuni Canyon": Today I'd walk across the lava rock I'd looked across the day before. Gnarly stuff and tough to hike in, but worth the visit. The afternoon was spent cruising through some pretty canyons!
CDT Day 25 (New Mexico) - "Llamas and Donkeys and Hares, Oh My": A long day filled with some animal sitings, canyon cruising, old cabins, good convos with hikers, road walking, and to cap it off an amazing but sketchy Narrows Rim Trail
CDT Day 24 (New Mexico) - "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls": Finally got myself to leave the comforts of the Toaster House and crushed a long walk today. Had plenty of great conversations with other hikers and even an animal siting just before dark.
CDT Days 22-23 (New Mexico) - "Pie Town and the Toaster House": Two days in one post, can you believe it!? I had such an amazing stay here and appreciate these wonderful folks that accept us hikers as family
CDT Day 21 (New Mexico) - "Out on the Range": Beauty sunrise and sunset, and in between some nice hiking and water filtering shenanigans. Lots of PJ forest today ending with some wide-open cruising out with the cows.
CDT Day 20 (New Mexico) - "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast": Another day of crushing miles on the CDT. Had some good audiobook listening as I meandered through the forest, having fun documenting in Guthooks the lack of water in this section.
CDT Day 19 (New Mexico) - "Inklings of Rocky Mountain High": Some more water issues, getting into higher elevation, good chats with fellow hikers, tough terrain...all around a good day
CDT Day 18 (New Mexico) - "Back to Cow-ality": Leaving the Gila behind, I entered into some flat open areas and forest. It was a long road walk for a lot of the day, but still interesting sites to see.
CDT Day 17 (New Mexico) - "I'm Talking Bout, Gila": My last day hiking along the Gila River was just as spectacular as the ones before. Gorgeous scenery, my first snake encounter, and a bit of trail magic to top of the day. Beauty stuff!
CDT Day 16 (New Mexico) - " Fe Fi, For Fila": Absolutely amazing day on trail. After checking out the Gila Cliff Dwellings, I made my way through Little Bear Canyon and was amazed at this stretch hiking along and through the Gila River!
CDT Day 15 (New Mexico) - "To Stay or Go, Say Yes or No?": Finally pulled myself away for a not so classic 3:47pm start. I left with a plan that involved seeing Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, taking the High Route (Orange line) for a bit, then the Little Bear Canyon Trail (Blue line), and camping near the bank of the Gila. Things didn't go as planned.
CDT Day 14 (New Mexico) - "Gila, Bo Bila": Day 14 would be my first true day hiking the Gila River and my favorite scenery of the CDT thus far. Such a unique and beautiful place!
CDT Day 13 (New Mexico) - "Gateway to the Gila": Today was a tough day of hiking, but I was getting more and more excited as I started getting higher in elevation and closer to the river. Fun to get to have dinner with some folks at camp again...
CDT Day 12 (New Mexico) - "Conjunction Function": I always seem to get an odd sense of relief and calmness when I leave town after finishing the different town tasks. Returning to the simple trail rythems can be nice when it's a beauty section like this one.
CDT Day 11 (New Mexico) - "Continental Divide Trail Days 2022": I was super lucky to have aligned my hike perfectly with CDT Trail Days. Without even planning it out, I strolled through at the right time and got to partake in this fun event! Andz thanks to Cheer and her fam for trail angeling!
CDT Day 10 (New Mexico) - "Road Walking": Between my morning camp and town food, was about a 13-mile walk. Had to dodge some wild drivers but persevered and surprise, found a friend waiting there when I got in!
CDT Day 9 (New Mexico) - "Terribly Thirsty Staying Stealthy": Pretty dramatic title, right? Well, I'm writing this, so you know I made it 😉. I had a little water mishap today, but it was just caused by a little stupidity and stubbornness... bad combo.
CDT Day 8 (New Mexico) - "Beautiful Burro": Despite last night's cream soda debacle, I did set myself up with at least a chance of achieving my goal for today.
CDT Day 7 (New Mexico) - "Things are Looking Up": Beauty sunrise, practicing to become a Instagram influencer, a bee infested cow tank water source, 90 degree temps, 100 miles, and the cream soda of death. What a beautiful day!
CDT Day 6 (New Mexico) - "Bye Bye to the Burg": "It's time to move on, time to get going. What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing. But under my feet, baby, grass is growing. It's time to move on, it's time to get going" - Tom Petty
CDT Day 5 (New Mexico) - "The Flaw in the Plan": Well, it didn't take much for me to get sucked into the town idea... getting cleaned up, organized, a bed, and potentially getting a hot meal and maybe a beer with these new comrades sounded great to me!
CDT Day 4 (New Mexico) - "Go Your Own Way": Today would test our ability to get frustrated losing the trail and keep going. Also started the great valley crossing towards the hills south of Lordsburg and Pyramid Peak
CDT Day 3 (New Mexico) - "Prickly Pear Hill": As I continue north on this stretch, I start to get a feel for the terrain, making my way through a wide-scake basin and range-like region with big open flat plains and hilly sections in between.
CDT Day 2 (New Mexico) "Hunting Posts": Hikers talk about the CDT as a sort of "choose your own adventure" trail. This is because there are so many alternate options and people end up finding whatever way they feel, to an extent, to get to Canada. This morning we all had our first choice to make.
CDT Day 1 (New Mexico): A Windy Washy Welcome - "Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good." And so it begins. I took off at the old 10:10am start time and got my first glance at what this trails all about!
The Day Before: Wasn't sure if I would do another post before starting, but I'm so pumped and today was so exciting I felt compelled to tell the tale.
CDT 2022 "Transition": Yesterday, I began my travels to the CDT Southern Terminus. A process that when completed will take 2 flights, 2 bus rides, a van trip, a short backpack trompsing through the University of Arizona campus, a jaunt on a train, and lastly a shuttle ride over dirt roads that's expected to take 3-hours...
hat does it take to prepare for a 5-6 month backpacking journey across the country? What do I need to do before I start and how am I going about it? And maybe most importantly, WHY am I doing this?
Let's talk a little bit about what I'm getting myself into... In the thru-hiking world, The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a well known long-distance trail, but outside of that community it's not as well know as its counterparts, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Appalachian Trail (AT). Combined, these three are talked about …
It's strange to be here again. This time before I start... planning and scheming, but not truly knowing what I'm getting into. Do I really think I can do this!?
"You just listen to your gut, okay? And on your way down to your gut, check in with your heart. Between those two things, they'll let you know what's what. They make good harmony, like two-thirds of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, you know what I mean?" - Ted Lasso
The Utah Conservation Corps season has come to a close. 9 months ago I set off in my van and headed west to Utah not really knowing what I was getting into. I'm so happy I decided to take a risk and go for it.
Life with the Utah Conservation Corps - "4 Month Update: Post Spring Season/Beginning of Summer": I thought I'd give an update on what it's like for me out here in the wild lands of Utah!
Heading West: The Lands of Utah 2 - More adventures on the road with Veronica Lynn Watson! Before making it to my final destination, I managed to stop and see a few more magnificently beautiful places...Bryce Canyon NP, Dixie NF, and Grand Staircase-Escalante NM!
Heading West: The Lands of Utah - My road trip to Cedar City continues with my first public land van camps, some wonderful scenic driving, and a visit to Capitol Reef National Park! Utah has so much uniqueness to offer...
Heading West: Pit Stop - Colorado will always be a special place to me. It was great seeing the Glenwood team and getting to play in the beautiful snowy mountains!
Heading West: The Second Leg - The drive from Chicago to Colorado was pretty uneventful, but I did experience my first on-the-road van sleep and got into some extremely cold temperatures. Ronnie Lynn gave me a scare, but she came through and was a true champion on the roads!
Heading West (ish): "Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick." - The Hobbit
Van Build: Lots of progress on the van build including installing some trim pieces, a new cabinet, and getting the foam cushions cut and fitted with sheets. Also got out for my first (very cold) trial run of sleeping in the van!!!
Van Build - Kreging the Jig: Things have gotten quite busy as of late, but with the help of my carpenter team, we made some serious progress this past weekend! We cut, glued, and screwed together (using my newly purchase Kreg Jig tool) lots and lots of pieces of pine to make a couch/pull-out slat bed and some cubbards/cabinets! Ronnie's looking good.
Van Build - Pergolicious: I've done OK with my board cuts and such up to this point, but turns out that glue doesn't really bond when it's freezing outside. The next morning, I discovered this while the boards fell apart easily and I got liquid glue all over the front of my puffy jacket...
Van Build - A Minor Setback: So this past Saturday morning, I awoke early-ish, got ready to go and then once in the driver seat of the van turned the key to go... click... click... nothing 😦
Van Build Floor Install (Stage 1): I intend to install a laminate wood flooring across the entire cargo space of the van. The first step was finding some 3/4 inch tongue and groove plywood and putting that down to fit...