23.4 miles (37.8km)
Pond Canp (279) to Ridgetop Camp (302.4)
On trail alone again this morning. After 6 miles of hiking I bumped into some new hikers. Well, not that new I met them about 10 days ago. PegLeg, Wildernessie and Simone.
I spent a lot of this mornings hiking off trail. There are blazes in the trees every 50 meters or so. They are the only form of trail markings. If I went 100 meters without seeing a blaze I would check the GPS. It wasn’t all bush bashing. There were sections of newly constructed trail.
As the day progressed I was becoming more and more fatigued. In the last two days I’ve cut back on my food intake as I realised I did not have enough food. Crunchmaster and Spontaneous are the same. In fact I’ve given each of them a meal. We are all struggling. I’m haemorrhaging weight. I think I’ve lost several kilograms in just the last 7 days.
By 1pm I’d covered about 15 miles. The water in the Aragon water tank was of questionable quality. Bugs both alive and dead littered the surface. With pond scum on the bottom. A look at the upper water tank was like looking at fluorescent green nuclear waste. I drank 2 liters mixed with protein powder.
As I hike through New Mexico I rely mainly on water tanks used for cattle. Some are better than others. Some are in disrepair. Luckily we have water reports and information on our GPS regarding the availability of water. So far so good. Being stuck out here with no water would not be fun.
I took my shoes off and noticed a new blister. Didn’t even feel it while hiking. That’s my second blister for the trip. I guess that as I didn’t fell it then it won’t be too bad. I’ll have to wait till tomorrow.
Crunchmaster and Spontaneous arrived at the Aragon water tank looking like death warmed up. This trip has been wearing them down. Now it is wearing me down too.
We struggled several more miles into the late afternoon. At 7pm we were all done. We camped on the best flat ground we could find. Crunchmaster is using Verizon, I’m using AT&T for our cell phone networks. Verizon is king of the CDT so far. I haven’t had service for a week.
Are we traveling too many miles too soon? Possibly we are.
Are we eating enough food each day? Probably not. But we will keep going.
Next – Day 18 – Disgusting water
Everything you need to know about hiking the CDT:
Complete Guide to Hiking the Continental Divide Trail
CDT Resupply Guide
CDT Gear List