My Continental Divide Trail Adventure Thus Far

mozey

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In the "Post Up Your Draw" thread I mentioned that I'm currently hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) (https://continentaldividetrail.org/cdnst-interactive-map/). A few asked that I post some pics if I get a chance, so here we go.

I became obsessed with the idea of hiking the CDT after gaining a bunch of weight during the Covid lockdown for the last two years. I felt like the weight gain was going to kill me faster than the virus (when I did catch it in January, I was 100% asymptomatic). I turned 60 in Feb, retired from Los Alamos on April 1, and started hiking the CDT almost immediately. On my 40th day, I completed NM and crossed into CO (781 miles). So far I've been true to what they call the "Red Line" which is the original CDT, which has taken me through the Hatchets, Pyramids, Burros, Black Range, Gila, Malpais, Mount Taylor, Jemez, Rio Chama, and the Carson National Forest. I've seen tons of big game, and I've been taking notes for potential future hunts.

It appears that the snow in the San Juans is still too deep for me to continue in CO, so I'm probably going to WY this week to try and knock out the 140-mile Great Divide Basin before resuming in CO and giving the snow another week to melt. I'm currently averaging about 25 miles per day.

The first question everyone wants to know is how much weight have I lost. Here's a pic of me on the day I started (kind of embarrassing):

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And here is a pic of me 3.5 weeks and 500 miles later after making it to Grants. I was down 28 pounds in this pic and now down 34. I made a 31-mile push the last day before Grants in order to be home for Mother's Day and it gave me a huge blister:

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If you look close in the first pic you can see I'm standing funny on my right foot.

With the exception of one non-hiker, all the people that I've met along the trail have been really cool.

I'm not usually big on taking pics but here are a few that meant something to me:

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If you happen to see me hiking by and if you pull over and offer a coke, I won't refuse it... :)

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mozey

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When you're up on the north plateau, the Rio Chama valley is especially breath taking at sunrise, but none of the pics that I took do it any justice.
 

TerynItUp

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Been looking forward to hearing from you, Mozey! Glad you are well and enjoying it, the weight loss is just a bonus. Be sure to keep the posts coming when you have a chance.

Poco a poco, amigo!
 

DH56

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772
Thanks for sharing your trip and pictures. Your doing well. I have a friend in Wyoming that walked the continental divide back in the day. The man can walk a long ways....When we hunted together I always tried to keep pace with him and held my own, but Dave also guided in the Big Horns as well and lived to be outdoors 24-7.
 

NMPaul

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Mozey some people talk about doing something like this, some dream about it. You are doing it.
Awesome job dropping the lbs. Been fighting my weight my whole life. Non hunting season the pounds just creep on. I dont get much exercise in because I tell myself if I work my Azz off now I can take the time off to hunt that I want. It kinda works for me.
Are you carrying a pack tent? Will enjoy watching your adventure.
 

mozey

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Paul, I'm carrying a Zpacks Duplex tent. I've gone as many as ten days between town stops. Lordsburg to Silver City was only 3.5 days, so I actually hiked two days past Silver City (42 miles), and then hitched a ride back to Silver City for my resupply, before hitching a ride back to Highway 35 where I left off. From that point to Pie Town was 218 tough miles, which took me ten days. I was one stinky sonofagun when I walked into Pie Town. I'm sure they smelled me coming before they ever saw me.

Here are some more recent pics:
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mozey

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One night about halfway between Silver City and Pie Town, at about 1:00 in the morning, I was woken up by a mountain lion coming up to my tent and hissing at me several times. In all my previous nights in the woods, I've never had anything like that happen before. Talk about an adrenaline rush. I'm not normally a cusser, but I let some expletives fly in those moments.

Don't recall sleeping much the rest of that night, either.
 

NMPaul

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Yep, I would want a tent just for the creepy crawlies, and better nights sleep.
I never pack a side arm, but, I maybe would something small and light just with all the unpredictable places you'll be.
Probably the hitchhiking is the riskiest. Hell of an adventure.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
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Wow thanks for sharing! Please keep us updated. Congrats on the retirement! Safe travels!
 

Bigfoot 1

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Awesome, I hunt elk in the Carson National Forest, we see CDT hikers trekking through there yearly. My hat off to you, it’s pretty country but it’s rough as hell on a human. I’m looking forward to more of your posts.
 

yotebuster17

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This is really cool. Thanks for taking the time to write about it. I’m not a huge fan of hiking just to hike (because I’m weak) but someday hope I get the kind of inspiration it takes to do something like this! Good luck on the rest of it. That country around Pie Town is one of my favorite places.
 

mozey

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Jarhead, I'm not currently carrying a fishing pole, but I ve been taking note of which streams I hope to bring my grandkids back to. I've seen a lot a trout go diving under the banks as I've approached some of those streams. In NM--who knew, right?
 

SHB

Active Member
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264
I met a handful of cdt hikers in WY last fall, up on south pass.


Some were wearing cross.




I wandered about logistics, and resupply.


They weren't carrying enough to matter.


They must have had a van at the end of the road every night with tents, bags , water, etc.




Good thread, thanks for sharing.
 

nmyotebuster

Active Member
Messages
298
Mozey,

This is a goal of mine as well. Probably about a year out at the moment. I have my gear ready, just not the time at this moment.

What one piece of gear would you have left behind, and which did you wish you had taken so far?

Are you doing mountain house/peak type meals? How hard has it been to find water?

Awesome accomplishment so far. And I can’t wait to see the rest.
 

plough

Member
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thanks for sharing...colorado needs to be done late in july at earliest...me and a buddy rode horseback from chama to st elmo . tried to ride the high trails but its impossible without support... the mountain men had access to the valleys and rivers and green grass without highways and private land...and i know youve met a lot of good people and some not so good on the way...its was etched in my mind forever. i didnt do jack compared to what youre doing. when youre done you will be different
 

mozey

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Just returned from doing 180 miles in Wyoming, starting about 60 miles south of Rawlins, and ending at Highway 28 at the foot of the Wind Rivers--basically the Great Divide Basin. I ran out of areas that I could hike without snow, so if I'm going to have to deal with snow, I may as well be dealing with it in southern Colorado, so I'll be resuming at Cumbres Pass this week.

BUGLEnmIN: Yes, I did draw one tag this year, and it just so happens to be one that I've been trying for as my first choice without success for at least 15 years: 6A&6C deer rifle. The one thing I have going for me is that I already know this unit fairly well, but yes, this is the one time I wish I could scout it from end to end all summer and fall. I will also be taking time off the trail in August for a Canada stone sheep hunt. Hope my guides are ready, because I'm going to be... :cool:

nmyotebuster: I wish you the best, my friend. I also prepared for about a year, so I think you're doing it right. The one item that I initially took that I've eventually decided to no longer carry was a set of mini binoculars. As a hunter, I didn't think I could live without something to glass over each big game animal I encountered, but I'm so focused on logging the miles, I'm honestly now content to mark a waypoint and move on. Also, it was impossible to keep the binocs in a place that was easily accessible and not have them get completely covered in dust, so by the time I cleaned the dust from them the animals were usually gone. I really don't miss them.

There hasn't been an item that I would take that I didn't (I prepared for a year), but the one I rethought and redid was my battery charger. The one I initially took, which was a 20,000 mA, that supposedly had solar recharge capability, was not nearly adequate for what I needed on the ten days between Silver City and Pie Town. I have four items that have rechargeable batteries: phone with Gut Hooks app, Garmin InReach, headlamp, and MP3 player, and it became critical management process of remaining battery life after just four days. I could live without the headlamp and MP3, but the Gut Hooks and Garmin were way to critical for trying to navigate a poorly marked trail to risk running out of battery to get through that stretch. I would also make certain to install a brand new battery in your phone that maximizes its life per charge.

I do take at least two freeze dried meals with me between town stops. My favorites so far are the Peak Ones (I just think they taste better). Each package contains two servings, so I dump half a pack into a plastic Talenti ice cream container and then just add boiling water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Works really well for me.

Here's a few pics of Wyoming:
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mozey

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Saw a real high concentration of antelope, deer, and elk here, but the reference to the "Grizzly Allotment Parcel" had me constantly looking over my shoulder, and more than a little jumpy that night while doing a couple hours of night hiking.

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mozey

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Thought I might have broke my middle toe after kicking a rock on the last day with about four miles to go, but it already feels a lot less painful now a day later, so maybe not. Think it will be just fine in a day or two.

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mozey

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I just finished the section between Cumbres Pass and Wolf Creek Pass. This is an incredibly beautiful stretch of the trail, but also some very hard miles. On the third day, a hiker on the trail in front of me pushed their SOS button and the helicopter sent to the rescue flew right over me. I learned today that it was a hiker that got lost for a couple days, but he's otherwise ok.
 

plough

Member
Messages
30
i wrote a journal on my trip...its in my safe and i never read it...my girlfriend of 9 years broke up with me before i started, i was destroyed...the trail saved me...20 years later i married her...i never mentioned her in the journal...chalk creek pass was the end, horses belly deep in snow june 28...started in nm...
 

Old_Cohntr6

Member
Messages
33
Way to go Mozey! 25 miles a day is impressive and inspiring.
A few years ago I hiked a little of the trail in NM on a unit 23 Burro mountain mulie hunt from HW 90 (didn't even see a doe!). Had to watch out for some of those ol' mine shafts! See any big bucks in the Burros?
No more kicking rocks, lol! Are you carrying a sidearm for the lions and bears?
Thanks for the Gila pictures and journaling.
Jeff
 
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mozey

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I just finished the 114 miles between Wolf Creek Pass and Spring Creek Pass--took me five and a half days. The San Juans do not give up its miles as easily as other parts of the trail that I've been on this far. Beautiful though.

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mozey

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2,793
Way to go Mozey! 25 miles a day is impressive and inspiring.
A few years ago I hiked a little of the trail in NM on a unit 23 Burro mountain mulie hunt from HW 90 (didn't even see a doe!). Had to watch out for some of those ol' mine shafts! See any big bucks in the Burros?
No more kicking rocks, lol! Are you carrying a sidearm for the lions and bears?
Thanks for the Gila pictures and journaling.
Jeff
I saw several deer in the Burros but it was April so even though I think I can tell the difference between a doe and a buck that has shed its antlers, no way for me to tell whether it was a big buck or not.

I'm not carrying a sidearm, but I do intend to carry bear spray if and when I make it back to the Wind Rivers in Wyoming.
 

mozey

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Just completed the 100 miles from Spring Creek Pass to Monarch Pass. It took me 4 days plus 1 hour. Miles are going up again after exiting the San Juans. When I started this trail I had two items that I wanted to complete: the Red Line through New Mexico, and the San Juans. Both of those boxes are now checked, and going forward I'll probably select any alternates that are either easier or cut the miles in hopes of making it to Canada before the snow gets too deep.

So far I've been incredibly lucky with my timing in that I was one of few hikers that attempted this this year to actually make it all the way through NM before the Forests were closed. Hope my luck keeps up as I get closer to Yellowstone and they open it back up.

Counting Wyoming, I've now logged about 1,240 miles, or roughly 40 percent complete

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mozey

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I've been fortunate to have linked up with a "trail family" to hike with (a couple from Georgia). This is us hiking out of Leadville this morning. A fourth person, a 52-year old farmer from Israel, took this picture.

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