Hiking the CDT: Day 2

Day 2
Near Willie Pritchard’s to water tower
18 miles

20130420-081135.jpg “Would you like to spend more time relaxing in a motel tomorrow or surrounded by and on top of cow shit?”, asked General Lee. At this point we had just kicked cow shit aside to sit in a small patch of shade on the side of an ancient rusting water tank.
So we got up off the ground and trudged out 5 more miles this after noon.
Much better day today, but we are all tired and Louis had sprouted a blister on his little toe. There is nothing to do around here but walk all day. Around noon we aimed for the shade of a telephone pole in the middle of the parched desert.
The vastness of this dried up universe is astounding. I am afraid to put on shorts, I don’t want sunburned legs. The grit is everywhere.
We see no one out here. We passed a woman walking her two dogs this morning on the highway after we left our campsite and she told us only 10-12 hikers pass by this route every year. No exactly a popular hiking destination. There is no conceivable reason anyone would be going here except to say they walked from the Mexico border on the CDT. Every hour or so we have to crawl on our stomachs under a barbed wire fence.
We took water out of troughs for cattle, ignoring the thousands on dead wasps and bees floating in the green algaed- up tanks. There is no option if you want to stay alive.
We camped on hard gravel half mile off a jeep trail that led to more solar powered water sources.
I heard the sound of a pair of owls in the night where it got down to 35 degrees.
The wind finally stopped. Every part of my body aches.

Ride the Divide DVD- now via Netflix

On June 8th, this astounding yearly  race begins again.  I just found out that the DVD is now available from Netflix, either as a physical in-the mail- DVD, or as an Instant download format.

DVD cover

Appleton Ridge’s  Stephen Gleasner completed the race in 2008.  This year, my next door neighbor, Andy Hazen, is planning to be the second rider from Maine to finish as well.  Starting in Banff, Canada, and ending at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Great Divide mountain bike race extends 2,700 miles along the Continental Divide. This scenic documentary follows three determined cyclists, from the 2008 race,  attempting the grueling ride.

Gleasner appears in the pack at the start.  He has also written a story about his experience in the excellent short story “Chasing Mary” in Cordillera- Literature from the World’s Toughest Bike Race.

via Netflix: Ride the Divide.