Day 30 hiking the CDT, day off in Cuba, NM

Day 30 May 16
campsite on CDT next to power line to 2miles past Portales Mesa
24 miles

We’re working our way up and over several Mesas today. I pushed my cowboy hat down more firmly in the morning wind, as I didn’t ‘t want to say bye bye to it going over the edge to the floor several hundred feet below.
Louis, Breeze, and I agreed to get up at 6 and start moving by 7. We wanted to put some extra miles in today to save us those same miles tomorrow morning. We are also just about out of food, which is good. An accomplished hiker heads into town for re-supply of food with an empty grub sack.
We also wanted to start early in order to put some miles on in the cooler morning temperatures, as it reached ninety- three degrees again, with not a cloud in the sky.
Had two glorious water moments today: the first at a working spigot just a couple of miles from our campsite and the second in Jones Canyon. We knew that jones Canyon had water, but the spigot was chancey. We assumed 28 miles of trail between water sources. I was not interested in running out of water again, so I carried a full 6 quarts out of each source. That’s 12 pounds extra. I ended up drinking 9 quarts today, and will probably down another quart before I hit the sack. I’m still thirsty.
The Jones Canyon water was coming faintly out of an old pipe, into a metal cow trough. As we walked up to spring, we encountered the caretaker, a very recently deceased coyote splayed out in the path. The water was relatively clear, but there were all kinds of little black shapes swimming around in it. We had to have water or die, I so I put my bandanna over Tiki-man’s mouth and poured through it as a filter, and then zapped that water with a UV treatment from my Steripen, which has worked flawlessly to date. The water was cold and tasted good. Some of this hiker behavior is nothing that one would engage in at home, but out here, it’s truly a survival game.
We put down 15 miles by 2 PM, and just kept it up until we had 24 down by 7:30. The last push of the day was up the side of a pretty serious mesa, which had new rock stairs constructed recently, and even some steps and hand holds chipped out of the rock faces. I did surprisingly well, with the extra water weight in my pack.
Today we traveled through ridiculously prolific and dangerous cacti. They are everywhere, and ready to latch on to you in their live or dead states. Where the trail drops into a groove, small, lumpy pincushions lines the sides of the trenches, little demons eager to attack ankles as they plod on by. We talked about how dangerous it would be to night hike here, trip, and then fall into a bed of the monster plants with the huge white needles.
I gotta crawl into my tent and become unconscious, ASAP.

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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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4 Responses to Day 30 hiking the CDT, day off in Cuba, NM

  1. jory says:

    what a stunning photo today! it give a real feeling for the territory you are passing through, tom….i’m glad you’ve got those mesas to give interest to the country and maybe some coolness.

    Like

  2. Robert says:

    Tom, You’re really putting in some hard miles in some high heat. That’s a lot of water, glad you found some, be careful. I’d watch to see if Tiki’man glows tonight after getting zapped with the UV. Still pursuing the bike leads, nothing yet though. What a gorgeous country we live in, thanks for the blog and pics. Robert

    Like

  3. love the photo. sending good karma your way.

    Like

  4. Guthook says:

    This is such a good photo of you hiking, Tom!

    Like

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