My First Four Days on the Continental Divide Trail

For those of you who are following along, I try and write something everyday on the trail, but I don’t get a chance to publish until I get into town.  While I could hunt around for a cell phone signal, I’m not going to do that.  Feel free to ask me any questions and thanks for reading.  

Day one, 2nd of May

My first day on the continental Divide trail. The terrain isn’t my favorite but there wasn’t much elevation change and for the most part the miles went by pretty quickly. It was sunny and my calves are sunburnt.  I realized I have way too much food and that I started off with more water than I needed. So the first half was a heavy load and probably wore me out a bit. By the end of the day my feet were very tired but no blisters and aside from a little sunburn still in pretty good shape.


My wife and kids sent me really sweet and heartwarming notes this morning. They got me pretty emotional before I left my hotel. I got the chance to say goodbye to Aaron this morning as he headed back to Florida. I can’t thank him enough for giving me a ride down to Lordsburg. My new bedtime has become 8 P.M. or just after watching the sunset. 








Day Two, 3rd of May

It is windier, overcast and much cooler today. I feel pretty good starting out, but by around 11:00 a.m. my cans and shins were tapping out. I pressed on until later in the afternoon but at a much slower pace. Every 10 minutes, I ask myself, “why did I bring this much food?” I’m two days away from getting back into Lordsburg. But I need to be there on a day the post office is open. Otherwise I have to keep humping this stuff up to the next stop in Silver City.


Day Three, 4th of May 


Happy Star Wars day.  I saw two people early this morning. One was going into Hachita, to take a break. The other one was giving him a ride. If you’re looking for complete isolation you can find it on the CDT.  I started with a group of 10 but that quickly dispersed. We had a couple of fast guys who probably did 30 miles right up the gate. A couple people like me who are right around 20 miles a day. I started this morning fairly early but nothing to brag about. I am still considering setting an alarm because even with 10 hours of sleep I woke up at about 5:30. That’s before sunrise but I’d still like to get going just a smidge earlier.


The sweet breeze today has kept thin


gs very comfortable. No clouds, so I’m definitely worried about the sun today. I made it about 11 miles before I took a long break and ate my first freeze-dried meal of the trip. I still have no blisters on my feet but I do have one of my thumb from my trekking pole. My left shins / ankle is the one spot on my body that’s bothering me the most. I think it’s from the terrain. I did not prepare myself well enough for the rocks, gravel and sand.  I’m shooting for 9 more miles today, setting myself up for a  22 or 23 mile day tomorrow so I can get into Lordsburg on Friday. I’m pretty sure the post office is open on Saturdays.  These are the kinds of questions you ask when you don’t have a phone. Even after two and a half days on the trail I probably have enough food for another 4 days. I can do better with preparing my meals.

I ended up doing 25 miles today and decided to cowboy camp for the first time.  If you don’t know, that’s sleeping outside without a tent/cover. It was mostly out of necessity as it was really windy and setting my tent seemed like a tougher task than I was willing to undertake. So I’m going to try and sleep in what amounts to a ravine. I’m shooting for 21 mi or so tomorrow to get me into Lordsburg where I will grab a meal, a hotel and then resupply.  The trail from Lordsburg to Silver City doesn’t sound very exciting.

Day Four, 5th of May 2023

I had a pretty good start of the day. I didn’t sleep as well as I would have liked after cowboy camping but still slept pretty good. Cowboy camping gives you the benefit of not having to take down your tent so I got going faster this morning. I think I’m going to change up my morning routine a bit to keep everything efficient. Oatmeal is nice but I don’t really enjoy the hot coffee as much as I thought I would. I’m going to try the Carnation instant breakfast and two instant coffee packets. I’ve heard a few people use that and you can make it the night before. The miles are going pretty good. My ankles are still swollen and giving me a bit of discomfort, but a night in an actual bed and a shorter day tomorrow will help.



A friend once noted that I have a difficult time celebrating my successes, so here’s my best effort to capture a few after starting out on the CDT.

  • I’m very proud of the fact that I don’t have any blisters.  Even the one on my thumb is gone after a few days with some duct tape on it.  My habit of taking my socks off at ever break has definitely helped, but so has my shoes size, and good socks.
  • I wrote every day.  Well, I mostly just talked into a Google Doc, but I still captured my thoughts.
  • I did 83 miles in 4 days.  I’ve done one or two 20 miles days in the past, so doing three over four days is pretty awesome. All along I didn’t think the long miles would be the problem, it would be the long miles day in and day out.  So far I’m holding up.

Here is my map share where you can follow along with my every step.  I’ll post again when I get to Silver City.

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Comments 5

  • thetentman : May 7th

    Good luck. Thx for the post.

  • DWm Vitt : May 7th

    Instead of coffee try taking two Excedrins. You get the caffeine, plus aspirin and acetaminophen; everything a Thru Hiker needs first think in the morning to get going all with your first few swallows of water. No fuss, no mess and immediately on the trail after rolling up your cowboy camp.

  • Gayle Simper : May 7th

    I hope the post office is open for you!

  • Near PCT in SoCal : May 8th

    As a Colorado native now living near lower PCT I follow some hikers online and admit following you mostly for dog Brittany breed photos.
    Kinda joking. Your cowboy camping photo of cow darting from bush is excellent. Wildlife photos like it are the best of No Trace.
    Congrats on no blisters? Your breathing feet at stops plus duct tape great idea. I ditto DWM VITT suggestion of 2-3 Excedrins in morn for caffeine + any soreness.
    Looking forward to more photos 🙂

  • jason : May 10th

    well done good sir, Camp Stone trained you up plenty good enough for all that walking in sand and stones and gravel. Looking forward to keeping up with your progress. Grand Lake is going to be awesome when you get there.



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