Walking on magma: an update from the CDT
I’ve been hiking on the Continental Divide Trail for 25 days now. I’ve gone about 400+ miles, though it’s hard to tell because there are so many mileage resources and alternate trails. Here are some reflections:
The water for a lot of the CDT is typically found in cow troughs. It doesn’t taste good, and you’re lucky when it doesn’t taste like cow poo (even after a double treatment of filter and chemicals), but it’s all you have for the next 15-20 miles. I’ve quickly gotten quite used to being ok with a 3-5 liter carry of water. You know the heavy feeling you get when you’re hiking out of a town with your resupply? I feel like that as I leave every water supply! I’m so grateful for the few water angels I’ve had along the way, providing awesome clean water to drink.
Continental Divide Trail? Did you mean Continental Divide Roadwalk? Just kidding! Much of the trail, especially in New Mexico, is on a road–whether dirt or asphalt. The section I just walked was approximately 95% on roads. The CDTC is working on completing the trail (moving the trail off roads and onto actual trail), but it’s a process! Your feet get a different kind of sore when faced with packed dirt and asphalt so often, and it’s been a painful challenge. Be grateful for trail when you have it!
I recently stopped by Pie Town, NM (real place!!) and tried over 12 kinds of pie. (Shaker Lemon and Blueberry Ginger were my top picks, FYI). Check out your local cuisine in your town stops. If you’ve been to New Mexico, you may be familiar with the green chili infused EVERYTHING. I encourage you to try it all.
It’s been an unusually high hiker year for the CDT, with, rumor has it, over 350 starters. I was ready to embrace the loneliness on this trail, and I will still probably have to, but being around other hikers on trail has been a blast. The hiker community is a place I call home, with people who are unlike the humans I encounter in “real life,” and I would do anything for them. We watch out for each other. Between us all, we have a very resourceful pharmacy/grocery store. We help each other out through our blisters and hunger and sunburns and thirst.
EMBRACE THE BRUTALITY PEOPLE!!
Stay tuned for more updates along the trail, and follow me on Instagram for more updates and pictures! @kaytebrown
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