Day 9 hiking the Continental Divide Trail

So, here’s the deal. I very much appreciate all the support you blog readers give to me. I have a transcriber, John Clark, who posts photos and emails from this hike to my Trailjournals site. I connect when I can, which is rare here. I have decided to offer additional posts to this WordPress blog when I am at a Wi-Fi spot a a residence or a motel. That’s all I got. There are battery issues, and little energy left to even write some days.
When I finish hiking, all my focus will shift back to the blog again. Hold on! In the meantime, go to Trailjournals and follow the adventure.
My Trailjournal site is

Emory Pass to campsite on Bear Trap Creek
16 miles.
Finally had a day when the hiking enjoyment outweighed the aggravation. Word class hiking was the norm most of the day. Lots of ledges, cliffs, side slabbing hills, wildflowers, and plenty of water flowing that culminated in a primo campsite on pine needles in a grove of ancient trees.
Louis wanted to have a fire, but there is too much dry vegetation laying all about and the wind is still gusting strong.
We are in the Gila Wilderness, the first of the National Wilderness areas, enacted in 1924. It is huger 3.3 million acres huge, inconceivable vistas that go 40 miles or more with no habitation.
After begging more water at the Pass, or “trail strong arming” as Train described it, we tackled the 1800 foot climb to Hillsboro Peak (10,000′).
I felt stronger today and was not so exhausted with the climbs.
Hillsboro has a active fire tower on it with a cabin for the ranger, and another crew cabin that was left open for hikers, that we enjoyed.
I read a book about fire spotter culture that is excellent – Check out Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout. They have a chapter about this tower.
We all had at east 5 quarts of water, and were prepared to go 24 miles with no water if we had to.
I misjudged my food plan and am coming up short, on reduced rations until tomorrow when I can pick up a food box I sent to myself.
Here’s what I ate today: breakfast was a can of Coke, an orange, a half apple that I shared with Louis, a half banana, and 1/2 a peanut and butter sandwich. I had a cliff Bar for a mid morning snack. Lunch was 6 Triscuits, a Three Muskateers bar, and a Myoplex protein drink carton. I had an Almond Snickers bar for afternoon snack. Supper was a package of pre-cooked rice with a packet of Kentucky Fried Chicken barbeque sauce, and the last two of my Mom’s date nut bars. I had a cup of sweet tea to drink. Not enough, but I am not complaining.
We started seeing water in East Canyon, which relieved our water worries.
Really sweet feeling of fatigue tonight. I hope to sleep well. I was able to finally call my wife Marcia and my mother Isabel today. I get all emotional speaking to them, and miss them both. Things get real when you are outside walking in the wilderness all day. Little things in life grow huge and are treasured.


6 thoughts on “Day 9 hiking the Continental Divide Trail

  1. Many did , especially two Vietnam veterans who gave us everything they had- food, drinks, and that look in their eyes that makes the connection with other humans the deepest value of this hike. Trying to stay in the moment every day.


  2. Robert

    Tom, quite the cuisine. I think when you said you couldn’t wait to eat whatever you wanted this wasn’t what you were referring too, this is eating whatever’s left. The Gila wilderness looks spectacular and really isolated. Great posts BTW. Robert


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