Backwards on the CDT

Well, not backwards really, but this year I’m hiking in the opposite direction of my 2007 hike. I left the Mexican border at Antelope Wells on the evening of May 3rd and have been hiking north ever since. It’s been interesting to see the landscape in a different season, and I’m constantly reminded how different my emotions were back then. In 2007, New Mexico was the end of my hike, and each step was closer to completing a 2800 mile walk across the continent. My brain and body had been in hiking mode for 4 months! Now I’m walking the same path, but I’m seeing my surroundings with a fresh perspective and the realization that my journey is just beginning.

The quiet meditation of solitary hiking has been wonderful, and I’m already feeling the stress of urban living melt away. I pop into town every hundred miles or so for food resupply, and am reminded that civilization is a nice place to visit, but I don’t want to dwell there longer than need be. My day starts with the break of dawn, and the chirping of birds is a gentle alarm to nudge me out of sleep. I’ve been sleeping under the stars without my tarp most nights, and I love watching dusk fade to black as the stars make their appearance. Coyote barking in the distance tells me that while my day is done, others are still awake with business to attend to.

Water sources are far and few between, so I must pay close attention to my maps and stay hydrated in this harsh desert environment. The desert flora is beautiful, but everything has defenses to either stab or scratch the unwary traveler. My shoes fill with sand, and lips dry and crack in the arid air. Fierce winds try to snatch the hat off my head, rattlesnakes shake their warning at my approach, and the circling buzzards remind me that my life is of no importance here. My demise, however, would fill a hungry belly and these bones would become more white artifacts amongst the debris of animals who perished out here.

2 Replies to “Backwards on the CDT”

  1. Right on – I’ve been waiting for a post! Glad to know that the buzzards haven’t gotten you yet.

  2. Great stuff my friend. I enjoy hearing from someone with your caliber of experience as o go for the triple crown and hopefully am able to complete the CDT this year. I just discovered your sight but have already spent a lot of tome here. I hail for a state that know every little of the hiking world. I do a bit of. Public speaking and after thru- hiking the AT just once people going it astounding that someone could do such a feat. I will be speaking now on the AT and PCT and my efforts pale in comparison to yours. I do hope to inspire and encourage people from my home state to get out and hike as Mississippi is always rated number one in obesity. As well I hope to finish my book using hiking as a metaphor as to how we journey through life. I love to use your story as an example of imagined not unimagined possibilities in life. We who hike realize how unimportant owning a bunch of worly “stuff” is compared to the joy attained in the simplicity of life. Would love to chat with you sometime and get your story. I do believe I may may met someone in Ashland who knew you as they told me of an acquaintance who was attempting to triple crown the triple crown. I assume there is only one? God Bless, safe travels!
    Bill (Samson) Wasser

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