Tag Archives: continentaldividetrail

Day 3. We Want Salad

Miles hiked: 31 miles

Total from Mexico: 85

The almost full moon made it hard to sleep last night. It was so bright against the desert rocks that you could perfectly see the colors of my gear. I had a great sense of peace and relaxation just laying in the desert moonlight, hearing some coyotes chat back and forth in the distance. Around 4 a.m. the moon finally set and the Milky Way galaxy was out in its full glory. Dillon wakes up too and we see half a dozen shooting stars in a couple minutes. 
We get up extra early to beat the heat and the sun and are hiking just before 6. The morning goes by fast as the chill from last night lingers. 

Most of the day is spent traversing vast expanses of open desert with miles and miles of nothingness in all directions. It’s a completely new experience for me. It’s both daunting and wondrous. There is no escape from the sun but lucky it has cooled off a lot today compared to the last two days. We are able to walk all day without our umbrellas even as a strong breeze blew. We leapfrogged with Moment and Griggs much of the day. Between the water caches are some cattle troughs which sometimes have water in them fed by wells. After finding a nasty one filled with insect larvae and algae we found a big tire that was well fed and had really clean and tasty water in it! 

Wild Zora bar I brought with me from home, curry turkey flavored. It was glorious. Like Indian food mated with beef jerky.

This was one of the better water sources

In the evening we walked through picturesque Wild West terrain filled with rocky hills and cows. My right hamstring is starting to hurt. Dillon says his feet are hurting bad too. Killer blisters. We talk about all the glorious food we will have in Lordsburg tomorrow. I especially am craving a salad. I didn’t get a chance to resupply well because the grocery store in town was closed so I bought a bunch of food at the nearby gas station. It’s all carbs and sugar. I need protein and nutrients! 

We get to the last water cache about 7 miles out of Lordsburg where we wanted to set up camp. But it was only 5 pm and we had hours of roasting daylight left to sit around in. We saw Radar, the guy who drove us to the border stocking the cache when we walked up. Told us about food in town. Dillon was persuaded to keep walking to Lordsburg tonight. It took very little to further convince me. We will be having salad and meat and everything tonight!!! We pop some ibuprofen, I put in my music and we charge down the trail towards town. Along the side of the road I see a big gopher snake swallowing a rabbit whole!!! Unfortunately as soon as it saw me it began regurgitating the rabbit and it went and hid in a bush, but not before I snapped some pictures of it. 

A few miles from town I finally got service on my phone and did some catching up. We hobbled into town with Kranberry’s as our target. It’s a little restaurant right across from the Econolodge where we will be staying tonight and tomorrow. We both stuff ourselves at the salad at and the I eat a French dip sandwich and onion rings. This is the bliss of thru hiking. Heightened hunger. 

I lost my sunglasses somewhere in the last few miles of the trail which makes me sad so I post on the CDT 2017 Facebook page asking if anyone found them when Big Sauce responds that he’s at the motel 6 across the street! I hiked with Big Sauce on and off on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014. We notably confused the hell out of some dirt-bikers during hike naked day north of Sierra City. He swings by our hotel room and we catch up! I had no idea he was hiking the CDT this year! To top it off Pitstop and Driver, the first people Buzz Lightyear and I met on the Appalachian Trail in 2012 are going to be here tomorrow and say hi to before they start their hike! Freaking crazy. 

Gopher snake eating a rabbit!!

Excited for a day off tomorrow to heal and resupply.

Day 0. Travel Day


Woke up at 4:00 a.m. which always seems to be the time to start a great adventure. Flew out of the Cincinnati airport at 7:00 a.m. to Atlanta and managed to dodge all the storms in the area! Ran as fast as I could to my next plane which was already boarding when I landed (it always seems I either have 25 minutes or 12 hours between flights) and then took off for El Paso, Texas. After landing in El Paso, I got an Uber. My driver is from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, which is directly across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. She says that even though they’re right next to each other, the culture is very different. She says everyone on the American side is too rushed and frantic. Mexico is more relaxed and people know their neighbors better. It’s a lot cheaper to live there too. 

She drops me off at the public library in El Paso because I forgot to print out my Greyhound bus ticket. They need a physical paper ticket, I assumed they were like airports these days. Anyways, I quickly print off my ticket in the computer lab and then have nothing to do for 5 hours. The bus station is conveniently a short walk from the library. I go to CVS and buy a little supplemental food and then mosey on over to the bus station. I know bus stations kind of have a stigma to them… I get it now. Five TVs are playing the People’s Court with all the sound slightly off and they all echo. It got a little better when five Steve Harvey’s started hosting Family Feud. One of the TVs looks like it got punched because it’s all warped and green in the center. About an hour before I board I see a guy walk in and immediately I can tell he’s a thru hiker due to the Gregory backpack and lack of face tattoos. He’s from Germany and this will be his first big thru hike. Looks like we will be on the same shuttle to the border tomorrow! Look at all that trail ahead!

The bus ride is uneventful and smells like pee and poop. After 3 hours or so the bus dropped me off at the McDonalds on Lordsburg around 8:30 pm local time. I grab some fast food and head to my motel room at the Econolodge. I sent my trekking poles and umbrella ahead to the motel a few days ago so I didn’t have to be bothered by trying to take them as carry on luggage on the planes. They have always let me take them but also always stop me and heckle me until I tell them I’ve done it before and that satisfies them. I take a shower, get my gear ready and go to bed. 

It all starts in the morning.

Continental Divide Trail Gear List and Food

Just over a month to go! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Here I have compiled a list of the gear I will be taking on this trip. I have my Base weight calculated (all of your gear minus the clothes you always wear on your body and consumables such as food, water and fuel). Some items will be variable such as how many water bottles I’ll carry, depending on where I am on the trail. I’m starting with 6 just in case in the desert but will only carry 2 in Colorado and probably other northern parts of the trail.

Backpack and Water Treatment and Storage:
Pa’lante Packs Simple Pack with hipbelts about 15 oz
Sawyer squeeze 2.7 oz
6 1 liter smart water bottles 12 oz
Subtotal 29.7 oz

Sleep system:
Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis tarp tent with insect netting 13 oz
6 Aluminum tent stakes 3 oz
Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 degree down quilt 19.4 oz
Gossamer gear airbeam air mattress 10 oz
Polycryo ground sheet 1.6 oz
Subtotal 47 oz

Clothing in Backpack:
Patagonia Men’s Capilene Midweight Crew undershirt 6.7 oz
Patagonia Men’s Capilene Midweight Bottoms 6.8 oz
Go lite down jacket 7.5 oz
Spare socks 3 oz
Enlightened Equipment Sidekick booties 1.5 oz
Outdoor Research Helium II ultralight rain jacket 6.4 oz
Subtotal 31.9 oz

Miscellaneous Items:
Petzl e+LITE Headlamp 1 oz
Sunglasses .7 oz
Toothbrush and toothpaste 1 oz
Compass .8 oz
Tiny Swiss Army knife .5 oz
Sunscreen 2 oz
Tenacious tape, sewing needle and dental floss .2 oz
Mosquito head net .7 oz
Swing Liteflex Silver Trekking Umbrella 8 oz
Subtotal 14.9 oz

Chargers 2 oz
Anker battery 15000 mwh 11 oz
Olloclip macro lens for IPhone .8 oz
Sony Cyber‑Shot DSC‑RX100 II 20.2 MP 9 oz
SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger 4 oz
Subtotal 26.8 oz

Total Base Weight: 150.3 oz or 9.39 lbs
All my gear outside of the pack
All gear inside the pack!

The size of the gear I carry has shrunk considerably since my southbound 2012 Appalachian Trail hike with Buzz Lightyear. I think I was lugging about 45 lbs in my 85 liter external frame pack when I started that hike. I had a machete, fishing pole, slingshot and tons of other useless shit. We had no idea what we were doing or what we had gotten ourselves into! By the time we got to Dalton, Massachusetts my pack was a 30 liter day hiking backpack that weighed about 25 lbs fully loaded (thanks to Tom Levardi for taking us to an outfitter)!

atA happy fool

I am one of those manics that never cooks on trail, I’m way too lazy to want to lug around extra water for cooking, then have to set up a stove, boil things and then clean out pots covered in gunk. I’ll just get warm food when I get to town in a few days. It just makes it that much better! The plus sides of this is I don’t have to worry about refueling, carrying a stove, fuel, pots/cups, or even utensils. No chores or wait time in the morning or at night and I don’t send up a beacon of scent to all the animals in the forest. “If you don’t cook then what the hell do you eat?” I eat whatever sounds tasty at that moment. I have no meals planned out, just a big bag filled with all my food. When I wake up I might eat some carnation breakfast essentials, granola bars, fruit and nuts. In the afternoon maybe chocolate, nuts, fruit, jerky, granola bars, and then the same for the evening.

I bought food enough for 9 boxes to be sent to locations along the CDT where there is either no resupply at all or very meager choices (a gas station for example). That being said, I have stuck to a lot of my usual favorites again like various granola bars, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts, jerky, candy, dried fruit, as well as lots of freeze dried fruit this time around. I found a company that sells freeze dried fruit in bulk for very cheap by accident a few months back. Its called Emergency Essentials and it is really more geared towards filling up your nuclear bunker than for hiking, but the freeze dried products are useful just the same. I have tons of freeze dried strawberries, peaches, raspberries and cinnamon apples. They weigh almost nothing but do take up a good amount of space. And don’t worry about not using them for awhile because as the bottom of one of the cans read, “best if used before May 2039.”

One of the items that I’m super excited for this time around are a variety of Salazon chocolate bars. They were created by a thru hiker and all have salt in them. The idea was that tasty chocolate could also be salted to help keep a hiker’s electrolyte levels up while at the same time eating one of  a hungry hiker’s favorite foods. They taste so freaking good.

I’ve also got a new camera this time around. Its the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 ii which is the camera Twinkle Toes and Bigfoot use on their adventures. I’ve played around with it a little bit and am stoked to use it on trail.

Less than a month to go! I can’t wait to meet other hikers and get back to doing what feels so right. Walking slowly across the varied surface of a planet and observing the other organisms that we inhabit this rock with.