Dear CDT Diary, Let the Adventure Begin

It’s 1:30 a.m. and I wake up with a startle from what seems to be the sound of running feet. Under the bright light from the full moon, I’ve slept wearing my buff over my eyes. I remove the blindfold only to see a big herd of cows running by right next to me. I figure all I can do is to lie still and hope they have the courtesy of not stomping me down. After what seems like an eternity the sound of their hoofs fade, and I debate whether to go back to sleep or leave the warmth of my sleeping bag to get up and pee.

Fifteen hours and 24 miles earlier, I laid my hand on Crazy Cook Monument and set off NOBO on the CDT, the trail that will be my home for the next five months or so. I have already fallen in love with the remoteness and beauty of this trail. I’m excited for what’s to come, I look forward to tackle the challenges the trail will bring, and plan on enjoying all good things it will provide.

Before I go back to sleep I chuckle to myself over the whole cow situation. Anyone who’s hiked with me in the past will attest as to how much I love sleeping in my tent and how I rarely ever cowboy camp. On trail my tent is my haven; it keeps my things in one place and whatever goes on outside that I can’t see I believe I don’t have to worry about (completely irrational, I know). I bought a new tent before this trail, but unfortunately it was delivered with a big hole in it. Rather than delaying my start, I decided to hike the first stretch without a tent. A new one will wait for me once I return to Lordsburg. I was planning on pushing miles, hoping that I would get away with cowboy camping for three nights without rain or a storm. Now here I was, wishing I had my tent to hide from cows, of all things. I can’t help but to feel a little bit proud as I put my buff back over my eyes to get some more hours of sleep before waking up to my second day on trail. I’m out here cowboy camping all by myself, and at least tonight it seems it won’t kill me. Maybe this trail will teach me to let go of my comfort blanket, the tent.

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Comments 1

  • Sandy : Jun 3rd

    Hi Emma,
    So glad the cows did not step on you!! Enjoy your hike! I will be backpacking in the Sangre de Christo Mountains later this month. Good luck!


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