Thursday, May 17, 2018

Day 32- Cruising

Wednesday May 16, 2028
Top of a cold mountain(729.1) to Nestked into some pine trees(756.4) 27.3 miles
Elevation: 10,347.8 feet

The next few blog posts might be a little shorter than usual. My battery pack apparently did not get a full charge before leaving Ghost Ranch. I’m going to have to conserve my battery over the next few days to be safe. Writing my blog uses a good bit of juice every night. I’d also like to say Happy Birthday to my brother Chris. I was hoping to text or call him today, but I didn’t have cell service. 

It was really cold when I woke up this morning. I started hiking in all of the clothes I put on before going to bed last night. I just couldn’t make myself undress before heading out. I did wake up in a much mood this morning. I should never have gotten worked up over the confusing trail. This is the cdt and I knew going into this hike that some sections are more confusing than others. That is just part of the experience. I started the day hiking through another pine tree forest. The ground was covered with frost. Mangas chose wisely last night because our camp spots didn’t have any frost. I had about 10 miles to hike this morning before hitting a water source. The temperatures warmed up quickly and an hour after starting I was hiking in a T-shirt and shorts. As long as I didn’t stop for too long I stayed warm. The hike to the water was a nice mix of ups and downs. The trail was easy to follow and mainly off of the 2 track roads. 

Start of the day

Christmas tree meadow 

My trail guide described the first water source as a fast moving stream with a bridge across. As I approached I didn’t see a bridge, just a fallen tree spanning the water. I checked Guthook to make sure I was in the right place and I was. Upon closer inspection of the description I noticed that it said to cross a Mexican bridge. I never knew that a log across a creek, river, or stream was referred to as a Mexican bridge. Seems a little racist to me, but who am I to judge. 

Mexican Bridge

The rest of the afternoon I was focused on hiking another 10 miles as quickly as possible. I noticed a campground at a lake on the map. I really wanted to take advantage of picnic tables, toilets, trash cans, and possible electric hook ups. The miles went by quickly and I made it there a little after 2. I’m really cruising now. I’m consistently hiking 12-15 miles by noon. Hopefully once the terrain becomes even more challenging I’ll still be able to have respectable daily miles. 

Afternoon terrain

Afternoon terrain part II

I was dissatisfied when I finally reached the campground. It was completely deserted. If I had to guess, it doesn’t fully open until Memorial Day. The spigots were all turned off and there were no electric hooks up. I did take full advantage of the picnic tables and trash cans. I don’t think I have ever cooked a meal in the middle of the day before. I decided that if I ate dinner for lunch I could hike later and carry less water. It was a win-win situation, plus I enjoyed having a civilized meal(sitting in the dirt for dinner is a big step down from a picnic table). After throwing my trash away and eating a bag of Idahoan mashed potatoes I went down to the lake to process some water. I found Mangas sitting next to the pit toilets. He had come in a different way from where I came from. I had been waiting for him to arrive before heading out. He seemed to be having a rough day and I left before he was ready to go. I had already been there for almost two hours. Hopefully he will catch me tomorrow. 

Lake Hopewell 

After such a long break I was really dragging tail the last few hours. I just gritted it out the best I could and tried to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. When I stopped for my last break of the day I heard an awful ruckus coming from the woods across from me. Finally a creature emerged and started walking across the road towards me. I didn’t have my phone and by the time I got it out and took a picture it was already pass me. I’m pretty sure that it was a porcupine. 

Not the greatest picture

Accidentally caught my shadow in this picture. I really like how small I look compared to my surroundings

I finally made it to camp after a long, but fulfilling day. I made the 600 mile trail marker, setup my tent, grabbed a few snacks left over from today and climbed into my tent. Now I’m just hoping to stay warm enough to get some good sleep. 

600 miles down!!! 

“Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to. We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.” 
-Joseph B. Wirthlin


  1. Congrats on 600 miles! Love that shadow photo of you - awesome! Anita

  2. So glad this Wednesday was a better day for you. Good that you cooked a good meal at the campground (Hopewell). Uncle Tom and I had thought about meeting you there but we were still several hours drive away when you stopped there so it wouldn't have worked. Love that quote!

  3. So glad today was a better day for you! Great quote and very cool shadow picture! Your mileage is sure impressive!!

  4. I really liked the shadow picture. Congrats on 600 miles. I like the marker made from pine cones. I’m not sure that was a porcupine. It looks like a nicer hiking day!! The quote was spot on, too. NM almost finished, way to cover the miles. LY