For the last 3 days the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) hosted the CDT Trail Days in the New Mexican town of Silver City. Rather than head straight out to the trail and start hiking I chose to join hundreds of hikers, sponsors and officials at CDT Trail Days.
CDT Trail Days
So what is CDT Trail Days? Well, the CDTC hosts this event to celebrate the start of the CDT hiking season, celebrate the town of Silver City as a CDT Gateway community, raise awareness for the CDT, raise money for the CDT and generally have a good time in the company of great people. Being part of the thru hiking community means being part of a large extended trail family.
I was rather late in joining in with the celebrations. I spent most of my first day in Silver City buying food, picking up packages and getting organised. It was a day of twos. Two trips to the UPS Store, two trips to the post office and two trips to the grocery store. But I’m ready. I think. I strolled into the Little Toad Creek Brewery. Hikers and people interested in hiking filled the bar. Initially I walked in and didn’t know anybody. Within a couple of hours I met many new friends and had long conversations about all things hiking and the CDT. My hiking buddy Crunchmaster finally arrived.
There were lots of fund raising on this night in the Little Toad Creek Brewery. Sponsors offered so much gear in the raffle that most people walked away with a prize. I won a CDT hat. Yay.
The Early Days
The following day was spent in town chatting with hikers and checking out all the gear displays. Or taking part in some form or another of shenanigans. The evening was spent in the company of Jean. She completed the first female hike of the CDT in 1978. No GPS, no smart phones, no large networks of thru hikers to gather information, no search and rescue. In those days you had to rely on your outdoor skills to get you from Mexico to Canada. Seeing the size of their large pack and 70 plus pounds of gear made me feel very soft, but very happy that technology has allowed a mere mortal like myself to undertake such a hike.
I’m ready to go. In less than 24 hours I’ll be somewhere on the CDT making my way north. I’ll be dropped off at the Mexico border by Crunchmaster’s family who have made the long journey to see him off. I’ll be joined on the drive by Spontaneous, my PCT hiking buddy. Tomorrow we plan on only walking about 14 miles to a water cache that we will stock on the drive south.
I must thank the following companies that have assisted me with gear to make this hike possible. Vasque Shoes, Osprey Packs, Nemo Equipment, Darn Tough Socks and Leki Poles. All companies with great ethics that support the trail community. You can follow all the hikers that these companies have sponsored this year on Instagram by following the @thruhikesyndicate. And follow my Instagram @BikeHikeSafari.
To all the people that have donated money to buy me meals I must say, Thank You. I have been humbled by the response. I have used the money to pre-purchase food for this hike. So far I have purchased enough food to get me about 500 miles along the trail. Again, thank you. I have also received numerous queries about receiving care packages / food supplies. Initially I rejected the idea. But if somebody feels that they would like to send me a food package while I hike then send me a personal email on my Contact Page and I can send you further details.
Again, thank you and wish me luck.
Photos of CDT Trail Days