Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wed, 24Apr2013 - Bear Creek

The new trail angel, Gregor, in Silver City put me up for the night and we had steak and grilled veggi's! Neat guy going to school for biology and heavy into beer making. Enjoyed his dark stout. Met Golden Ray, from the PCT here. I also met Peru and Radar, from the AT. They are staying in town.

Gregor dropped me back in town this morning so I could say goodbye to Peru and hike out the purple route, true CDT, from town. After breakfast in the Internet cafe I hiked the longer route out around Bear Mtn because it had more views and trail walking instead of all roads. Met Thresher heading south. Then I broke away from the official CDT and started the Gila River Route. Camping beside the Bear Creek. I real stream to soak your feet in!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tue 23Apr2013 - Silver City

Monday: I'm back in the mountains! The Big Burro range has lots of ups and downs, switchbacks, and views. My first wildflowers today; red Indian paint brush and lots of purple and yellow flowers. The summit of Jack Mountain was nice as you would expect with a name like Jack!

After mud spring the CDT was well marked but my notes and maps said it wasn't finished. Looking ahead at close to 20 miles of road walking I hesitated. The trail looked great and had what looked like brand new trail markers. Even if I had to bushwhack a little or take some side roads it must be shorted on the road. Wrong! I hiked at least 3 miles and it kept getting farther away in the wrong direction. I chickened out and hiked back and started the long road walk. If i had just looked at the overview map buried in my pack it would have been obvious. Camping on a hill above the road 13 miles from Silver City.

Tuesday: just made it to Silver City. Coffee at the Internet cafe. Email about a possible trail angel I will check out. Heading to the hiking store next to sign in and get fuel.

Sun, 21Apr2013 - Off Trail

Sun, 21Apr2013 - Off trail
Hot day in the desert today. Not much wind and it really makes a difference. It's pretty, cactus, colors, hills around you, jack rabbits, and did I include COWs? It's really pretty nice but with the heat there is a feeling of just wanting to get thru this part. There is always apprehension coming up to cow water and wondering if it will have any. Always carrying extra in case.

Finally, in the afternoon, I climbed up into the Big Burrow Mountains and transitioned into a real trail. Up till now it was just cross country without a trail or a rutted dirt road. The trail even had rock cairns, trees, and great views. Climbed up along the ridge-line on switchbacks and was shaded with trees and a nice breeze.

Then the trail turned and headed done a power line. No! I don't want to go down. Down is where the COWs are!

Eventually the trail came out in a clearing and a truck blocked my way. Going by the truck I saw the footprints I had seen on the trail follow down the dirt road. I looked around, saw a CDT sign kind of leaning toward the road and figured it continued that way. Pulled out my map to check, just when a couple with a baby came up the road. After talking for a while I asked if the CDT continued north down the road. Yes they said, so I stuffed my map into my pocket and continued down. By the time I realized they were wrong I was a mile down. Dragging out my gps I decided to bushwhack a half mile through dense thorny foliage and made it back to the trail. Back on track from my first major slip up, a little blooded, and with a exciting deer encounter on my side adventure. Camping on a nice ridge with a view tonight.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sat, 20Apr2013 - Lordsburg

Fri, 19Apr2013 - Desert walking. Lots of space between markers so its almost impossible to see the next one. Just go by instinct and hope you see one before your too far off. Lots of zig-zags to correct course. Got water from some of those cow tires. A dead cow skeleton nearby. In the old westerns that always implied the water was poison!

Sat, 20Apr2013 - Finding Waldo and when a gate is not a gate.

Woke to find ice in my water bottle. Hot and no shade by day; freezing at night. Welcome to the desert. :) The trail markers are at least a quarter mile apart and finding them is like finding Waldo. It's mostly fun but sometimes frustrating. And then you come to barb wire fences and you are never shore if you are lost or suppose to cross them. My data calls some of them gates. First I thought I was off trail and missed the gate. Then I figured out gate means your choice of climbing over, under, or between. Unless you should have stayed on the other side. Never sure. Lol

Last eight miles into Lordsburg were really nice with a rollercoaster of hills, sun, wind, and searching for markers. In town for supplies. No fuel so I bought a bottle of ever clear grain alcohol. Might be an after dinner drink or two ahead. Heading back in an hour to camp on trail.

Day 2: Old Hachita Ghost Town

Hiked through a herd of deer. Lots of lone cows keep surprising me. First thought is always "moose"? Lots of coyote signs and stay deer bones. Do coyote hunt deer? There was no trail in the morning just cairns or post. I rest right of them that were down. I think there is a cow conspiracy to knock them down. Really! I looked in the eyes of one cow and I swear I heard his voice in my head. "I know what you did with my brother and I know you are heading to Lordsburg to eat him at McDonalds, aren't you?"

The trail got easier and better marked after lunch. Saw a rabbit and then several giant jackrabbits big enough to put a saddle on. Headed off trail to see the old hornet mine then headed cross country to check out the old ghost town and several abandoned mines. I'm going to spend the night sleeping in the Old Hatchita ghost town!

Day 1: Mexican border at Crazy Cook

Met up with Bamboo Bob, the new Poppa Smurf I met yesterday, Why Wait, Jellybean, Rob Steady, and Outhere for breakfast then made the long dirt road trek to the border. Cached water on the way in. About five miles north we crossed the road and who drives by? Sam shuttling my friend Dazzle from Hawaii that I met on the PCT! Saw a snake and some lizards and lots of wind. At the first water cache I waited 45 min for the rest of the gang but decided to hike on because it was early and not really a lot of good sites there. I hiked on to mile 18 through thorny dessert with no path; just posts that were about a tenth of a mile apart and hard to fine. Not a bad first day on the CDT.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Leaving on a jet plane...

I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again... CDT here I come! Hoping to make it to Crazy Cook, at the Mexican border, Wednesday morning.

Lots of stops on the bus ride from El Paso to Lordsburg for border checks. On one stop the drug dog alerted on some luggage. Big todo when no one claimed to own the bag. Turns out the owner was wearing headphones. False alarm but we had an army of police around the bus.

Meeting up with another hiker and shared floor space at the hotel in Lordsberg. Would you believe he is also a Papa Smurf? And from near Green Bay too. It's going to be some adventure.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mail drop preparations

Looks like it's a bit harder to go without any maildrops for this years CDT hike.  Since I need to mail some of this huge pile of topomaps I figure I should at least include some food. too.  Here's my preparations for loading up four maildrops of food and maps.  On track for my April 17th departure from Crazy Cook at the Mexican border.  
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