CDT Thru-Hike Week 5 San Juan’s

The Snows of the San Juan’s.

As I hiked my first miles into the San Juan’s my trekking pole collapsed and I fell. My hand and arm were cut up but I was mostly upset that my trekking pole pushed a wine cork up into the top of my pole. Why did I have a wine cork in my pole? Well I made my top section into a flute. I like to play instruments and this worked out great.

Here Comes the Snow.

The next day I ran into a hiking family coming out because the conditions were tough and they were running out of food. We talked for a while which was nice. They were they last people I would talk to in three days.

The snowpack increased as the trail disappeared. Not even footsteps to follow most of the time. I heard a couple of people were helicoptered out a week before.

By noon I was postholing past my knees on every step. I was glued to my digital maps to show me the way. From sunrise to sunset I managed 21 to 23 miles. My feet took forever to warm up in my tent at night.

Although the conditions were tough the views were fantastic. One night I had a small icy lake to myself.


Eventually I met up with a fun tramily for a couple of days.  Each member brought a unique quality to their tribe. Two had fly rods and would catch trout to share. Some were super fast and would set up camp. Others filled in with their charismatic personalities.

One day we helped a guy on a dirt road fix a flat tire. He gave us a bottle of Champaign. That night we drank, smoked, ate trout, and I used the cork to fix my trekking pole flute. I played a song for the group. That was my funest night on trail.

Summer Solstice

I’ll save you from the picture of my naked hiking day adventure. I’d never tried that before. It was very freeing. Although I found myself highly alert to my surroundings. If anyone was coming I was ready get dressed.

Sure enough, I saw someone so I quickly put my shorts on. The woman coming down the trail stopped and we talked for a while. She was also hiking naked and clothed up right before we met. She missed a few buttons on her shirt. And I wasn’t wearing a shirt at all. We laughed about our predicament then hiked our separate ways.

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