On My Way to Doc’s

Sorry for the delay in posting. It’s really tough to post stuff to the internet when you have no internet connection. So while I understand your desire to read more of my blog, also know that I haven’t showered for 8 days. I split this post into two so you’ll have something to tie you over until I get into my next town which shouldn’t be too far in the future. Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot.

Day 8 9th of May

Leaving Silver City

I made it out of Silver City today. It’s about 5,000 times nicer than Lordsburg. Today was also new shoe day. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a new pair of shoes. I was expecting to go through about six pairs this entire trip but now I might up that a bit to seven or eight. I figure because I’m a 200 lb guy with a pack that ranges from 20 to 35 lb probably going to burn through shoes a little bit faster than their designed. And they feel so good when they’re new. (A week later and I might have other plans.)

I’m now in the Gila National Forest. Which is an alternate route of the Continental Divide Trail. But about 90% of the thru hikers take this route because it’s so nice.  My buddy told me all about it on our drive down here and I’m really looking forward to spending some time in here.

There are some hot springs coming up in about a day and a half. And I’m actually scheduled for a job interview on Thursday afternoon. I think I’ve lined it up with a spot where all have good cell reception but if not hopefully they’ll understand.  

Thinking about trying to do 30 miles tomorrow. It’s hard to judge the terrain because it’s an alternate route and the map I use doesn’t give me the same terrain calculation. But either way I’m going to put in some more hours.

Day 9 May 10th

Easily the hardest day I’ve had on the trail. Started off with a pretty good climb with some amazing views followed by a pretty rugged descent into the River Valley. Once I got into the Gila River Valley then I went through about 15 River crossings. There was quite a bit of concern early on in the season that the river crossings would be too deep. I didn’t have that problem but because of the previous high water and flooding, lots of the trail markers have disappeared. So I would go from one River crossing to bushwhacking my way towards the next one. I should have paid closer attention during our AFROTC Land navigation instructions. I never felt lost because I was just following the river but it’s really hard to move with any sort of pace when you’re bushwhacking through tall grass rocky terrain and sand. My shoes and socks are completely soaked but no worries I get to start the day with at least 10 more of a crossings. 

I’m supposed to have an interview at 12:00 mountain Time tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can bump into some cell service before phone call. I’m cutting you close.

And while it was the hardest day of this adventure is also the most beautiful. The views from the River Valley are pretty awesome. I walked by a number of incredible wildflower patches. And the views into the valley are just as breathtaking. Gila National Forest had never been on my radar before exploring the CDT but wow, this is a really incredible place. This would be a great place for a backpacking trip or whatever just to enjoy it. 

The weather says it will be 37 when I wake up tomorrow morning. Do I get bonus points for a polar plunge? Who needs coffee when you can do that in the morning? 

Day Ten May 11th

I could on about Gila and I know my pictures and videos probably won’t do it justice but this place is incredible.  The only way to really experience it is to actually backpack through it and for lots of people backpacking with super wet feet constantly doesn’t sound appealing. The wet feet hasn’t really bothered me but the lack of trails from time to time was annoying at first. But the sheer beauty of this place makes me pause just what every turn. I know the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon and all but this place is a really close second. And maybe in terms of backpacking even better.

I started up this morning pretty slow. Yesterday did take a toll on me and I was a little apprehensive about doing River crossings in the dark so I stayed in bed until about 6:00. The rest might have helped because as soon as I jumped in the water I was pretty pumped to get going. I had an interview scheduled at noon today and knew I would need to get to somewhere with a Wi-Fi signal or cell service otherwise I’d missed the call. Doc Campbell’s post is sort of a mandatory stop for CDT thru hikers and I thought they’d have Wi-Fi and I figured I’d make it there by noon which is also the time I was going to pick up my resupply package. 

Job Interviews

I made it there at 11:56 and it took me a couple of minutes to figure out the Wi-Fi password because there was no cell service. I got the call a few minutes later and the guy said he had tried a few minutes earlier and didn’t get through. When I told him what I was doing he said why don’t you call me back and September and we can see if we have something else available for you. Which was sort of what I figured because I can’t start anything until September but hey, he didn’t turn me down when I told him what I was up to. But I guess I have to be more specific when I tell somebody I’m backpacking the CDT currently. It’s always good news when your resume makes it through the dreaded algorithm though.


I hung out at doc’s for a few hours with a group of 10 or so through hikers who were in the neighborhood and either picking up a package and heading out or wrapping up a zero. There’s a group of thru hikers who have a very lightweight bocce ball set and convinced me to play. Of course My team won. Don’t tell them my edge but me and my partner were the two biggest people and I figured nobody could throw it as far as we did. So when it was our turn to through the white ball I just checked it as far as I could.

I believe they were bringing in some cases of beer as I was walking out. A good group of people but I don’t want to sit around all day drinking beer when I need to get some miles in. 

Trail Name

Should I stick with the trail name of Daddy Warbucks? I’ll r shorten it to D-Dub but whatever. It comes from my Uber ride into Silver City. I said when I got to that highway and said to myself I make too much money for this I’m taking an Uber. 

If the trip ended today I’d be grateful for the opportunity to do all of this. I don’t know if the scenery is going to get better than Gila but if this is the best spot there’s still a lot of really good things to see.

My feet are holding up okay but I do have two blisters, neither really bothering me too much. Not sure what the next two days of water crossings are going to do but we’ll see.

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Comments 9

  • Leone Marie Quigley : May 15th

    So happy things are going this good for you. You can do this. Your heart certainly is in it all the way. I think about you everyday and hope your journey continues to be all that you wanted it to be. Love you forever, Mom

  • Christopher : May 16th

    Hey, if your Daddy, Warbucks, you don’t need no stinking job

  • Cindy Vaught : May 16th

    I live in the Silver City area and the Gila NF/ Wilderness and River are my favorite. It is fun reading your blog about places I have frequented hiking, backpacking and camping. I look forward to following along in the coming months as you take on this challenge. Take care and hike on!

  • Chav : May 16th

    Thanks for sharing your journey Jon. it’s great to see you accomplishing this goal of yours!!!

  • Alicia : May 16th

    It looks so beautiful and quiet. Not what I expected at all. I hope the rest of your hike is as beautiful as this.

  • Tim : May 16th

    Love keeping up reading about your journey! Can’t wait to hear about the river crossing.

  • Rosetta : May 16th

    What aesthetic pictures! Looks like you’ve been lucky enough to explore some beautiful places, huh Daddy Warbucks? It’s a real shame about your blisters, but alas, as I always say “Life is but a sham and a shame”! Haha! The real shame is that you’re missing out on my vastttttt amount of delectable baked goods that I have made whilst you are gone (pretzels!)! Also, gross on the not showering part! You probably smell quite bad. Alas, I should probably get back to work.

  • Katie Schmoeckel : May 16th

    Must keep the nick name! I’m still giggling over people giving you their life stories and picturing the expression on your face.

  • Brian Lam : May 16th

    Daddy Warbucks sounds earned. ‘The Counselor’ since your travels your smile invites all to share everything. ‘Airman’ or E1. Minnesota Fats or just ‘fats’ – sounds cool. Enjoy the journey and appreciate you sharing it.

    Looking forward to follow online and see what trail-name comes out in the end.


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