CDT Pre-Hike Acclimatization

Tucson AZ to Lordsburg NM
Getting out of the plane in Tucson, AZ was different than most things that I’ve seen, and exactly what I would expect at the same time. Immediately after exiting the plane into the terminal, there was an olden style cafe that sold biscuits and gravy and looked like it opened the same year as the airport did (a long time ago!). Welcome to the South!

When I exited the security area, Trouble was already there to ask me, “Are you ready?”. (Obviously I was born ready). After waiting for my checked gear, we ended up splitting a ride-share down to the hotel with another CDT hiker that I met on the plane. Outside the air was hot and dry. Living in a rainforest, I forgot what dry felt like!

While in Tucson, everything was spread pretty far apart, so we relied on rideshares to get things done. We excitedly stocked up on fuel at REI, got American phone numbers, and found a couple of items to add to our food bags for the first stretch of the trail. In the morning we headed to the greyhound station via rideshare. After being in a couple rideshare vehicles here, I was hoping that this one would be less sketchy! The driver was nice enough, just couldn’t get her trunk open, which was totally fine in comparison to some of the other rides. While waiting for the greyhound bus, we met two other hikers.

One of the hikers we met was Lookout, who told us that he is hiking the CDT for the Wilderness Foundation UK. (Click to check out what he is up to). We spoke with Lookout pretty much the whole way to Lordsburg. He would be starting the trail the day before us, so hopefully we run into him again.

When the greyhound bus dropped us off at the Lordsburg McDonald’s in the afternoon, it was hot AF outside. Trouble and I had our backpacks, a huge suitcase full of dehydrated food, and another Rubbermaid bin of supplies. It was mildly obnoxious walking through the town with all of our stuff. At the post office, we sorted our food drops out to mail ahead. Inside the Lordsburg Post office was a huge map on the wall for CDT hikers to mark where they were from, and they had a logbook for hikers to sign. There were quite a few Canadian hikers, but I was the only one so far from Vancouver Island!

Trail Angel
Once we finished at the post office, Trouble sent a message to the trail angel who we would be staying with before starting the trail. We were just asking for a suggestion for where we should go to eat, and the trail angel told us that she would come to pick us up. Within 5 minutes she was outside of the post office to pick us up! The two days in Lordsburg prior to starting the trail was a bit of a blur. I was pretty tired from not sleeping very well the last couple days before coming to Lordsburg, and we would be staying somewhere where there were lots of people coming in and out, so I definitely overlooked this in the planning.
For the sake of trying to be completely honest about my thoughts, feelings and experiences, I’ll share as much as I can here.
The positives were:
-Meeting other thru hikers that we might run into up the trail.
-Generosity from complete strangers for no good reason (we were cooked a meal, given a place to stay, rides, and even offered a car to drive, ect.)
-Getting to visit Silver City (the next town on the trail after Lordsburg) ahead of time.
-Having time to get organized for the trail and acclimatizing to the weather.

Without going into too much detail, the negatives were:
-Experiencing misogenistic attitudes from others (including women).
-Excessive trauma dumping
-Having to make decisions relating to others drinking and driving.
-Listening to adults defend child abuse.
-Discrimination from another hiker due to my age and dietary choices. “Watch out, they’re vegan!”

While some of the behaviours I have seen from people associated with the trail were not the greatest, I’m not going to allow it to taint my experience. I don’t want to say anything that would hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am going to continue to share as much as I can here because I want to be honest with my experience without painting everything with sunshine and rainbows.
Sometimes in life you will experience things that will give you a better appreciation for what you already have. I am grateful to live in a place where I don’t experience much “socially accepted misogyny” and I am grateful to be surrounded by people who accept me for who I am.
My hope for the trail is that I will meet more friendly people who have similar values and beliefs to me, and maybe learn something new from those who think differently.

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Comments 3

  • Leah Love : May 8th

    I have not been on a thru hike, but being a part of the hiking community in CO and reading enough trail blogs has taught me one thing… Hikers are OPINIONATED. about everything. Keep strong and don’t let the haters get you down. Happy trails!

    • Leah : May 8th

      Also, I’m located in Northern Colorado if you need any trail assistance after you pass through Rocky Mountain NP. 🥾⛰️

      • Rebecca Lynn Ellis : May 8th

        Thank you so much! I will definitely keep you in mind when passing through 🙂
        I am posting a bit behind, but have been meeting all kinds of people out here!


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