Day 36 – 22 Miles (602 miles from Mexico)

Again, sheesh. It snowed/rained/sleeted/hailed all night, but I stayed snug as a bug in my shelter and sleeping bag. I love snow, but this is getting old, Spring. Lets lighten up on the rain, snow, and lightning for a while, eh?

When I finally emerged from my shelter, I took advantage in a break in the weather. The day was misty as clouds hovered overhead for the first few hours. I slogged through the mud, slipping and sliding all around, before the sun finally came out and I could marvel at the rolling meadows and shiny world around me.

I could see snow on a far peak I would pass by later, but for the time being I enjoyed walking on old roads and was thankful for the sun that began to emerge and dry everything out.


I took lunch and listened to some music on my phone while eating another roast beef and feta cheese bagel…much better than yesterday, probably because I was so hungry!

Right before packing up for the afternoon’s hike my phone slid off my pack and onto the ground. Not thinking much of it, I picked it, selected a podcast for the after-lunch miles, and started hiking again.

I realized a while later I was’t on the trail anymore…or I wasn’t sure for that matter. There had been almost no CDT markers all day. I pulled out my phone to check my position on Guthook’s CDT GPS app, and to my horror realized the screen was shattered.

#*%&#(&! (pardon my French)

I got a panicky fear welling up, but I tamped it down and reassured myself that I was a map and compass guru and didn’t need the App to successfully navigate this section…snow? Follow footprints. Well, I tried to hike back to where I knew i was on the trail last, and pulled out my phone one more time to take a look and realized the top half of the screen was still operational, yes!

I called my folks and asked them to order me a replacement phone and have it shipped to Chama…whew, success! I saw I was about a quarter mile off the CDT before the entire screen went dead…but not before a partial text from Pimp Limp (a day ahead on the trail) came though that said, “Do not cross the river alone!”

What? What river? Where? I couldn’t manage to read the rest of the message before the phone went dead.


This section had a few days of postholing up ahead before I would reach Chama, and apparently a big, dangerous river crossing, and yes, I was alone.

Well, I tried my hardest to find and stay on the CDT, but a few hours later I emerged on what I realized was a Ley alternate, elated that I knew where i was, but defeated that I had missed the trail and wasted some time, I weighed my options…and started walking the road I had stumbled upon out.

I left the mountains. Amid some self-berating about taking the easy way out and not rising to the navigational challenge of the trail ahead, was a deep sense of relief. I would be safe today. And tomorrow. I would get myself out of these mountains safely and not get caught in a potentially dangerous situation of hiking through the terrain ahead alone.

So I left! i knew the road would lead me to another road, and another road, and eventually a highway which I **hoped** would  lead to Chama. I would figure it out.

I hiked until about 7pm when a car drove by and I stopped them to ask about the way to Chama, apparently I only had about 6 miles to go until the highway and about 30 road miles to Chama. Yes!!!!!

Elated I decided it was time to camp, and found a spot snug on a short ridge beneath some scrub oak. The day was almost over. I broke my phone/camera/video camera/GPS/ and my Ipod (another instance in the day where I dropped it into a puddle), but I was safe and happy that i made the right decision.

4 thoughts on “Day 36 – 22 Miles (602 miles from Mexico)

  1. Sorry about the damage to your phone. Have you checked out the Otterbox Armor Case, (waterproof & really well protected) Doesn’t interfere with sensitivity. Great for outdoors.


  2. We hiked the road to get to YOU faster, remember? That was where some jerk tried to play chicken with us and ran us off the road into a ditch. And I slept in someone’s random patch of woods. And I met a couple building a yurt. And meanwhile, the others were lost on the trail in some snow but finding morels! Thinking about you and checking in for news of your South San Juan adventure.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s