Saturday, May 9, 2009

My friend and backpacking partner has written on our New Mexico trip.

Ok, I'm cheating... Because I have not had the time/made the time to type up my journal entries I am posting my trail partner, Tailwinds', journal entry I've copied and pasted below from her journal. Check back over the summer to read some more of Tailwinds' journal writing. Tailwinds is a wonderful writer.

Forgive me Tailwinds for letting you do all the work.
Here is the summary from Tailwinds' journal:
New Mexico is a special place for me. I spent one summer there in the 1980s and later bought 7 acres of rocks and cactus near Abiquiu just because I fell in love with the land.

So when Gottago invited me to hike 92 miles of the Continental Divide Trail with her from Pie Town to Snow Lake in central New Mexico, I jumped at the chance. I do not plan to thru-hike or section hike the CDT but this was an opportunity to get some on-trail pre-hike training for the PCT this summer and spend time with Gottago. It was also a chance to get back to New Mexico.

Gottago and I met at ADZPCTKO last year and hit it off immediately. She has thru-hiked the PCT and is currently section hiking the CDT. Through emails and phone calls, our friendship deepened and grew. Through the shared experience of hiking, the bond has strengthened.

The short version of my recently completed (April 28 – May 3) CDT section hike with Gottago:

Miles: 92

Trail tread: Roads, cow trails, cross country, rocks, blowdowns (Wagontongue Mountain)

Terrain: Grasslands, mountains, rocks, canyons, dry stream beds

Weather: Ideal for hiking. Low 30s at night (final morning was 32 degrees).

Animals: Turkeys (heard gobbling, saw giant turkey tracks), mountain lions (prints), bears (prints),coyotes, elk, deer, no rattlesnakes seen or heard, one Mexican grey wolf who played with us for about half an hour the last day

Other hikers: At the Toaster House in Pie Town we arrived the night before starting our hike to find Stumpknocker, Mrs. Gorp, Mike and Andy. Andy was from Holland, MI – just about half an hour from my home in Grand Rapids. On the trail we met John, northbound.

People encountered on the road: Don “Those Maps are No Good, You’ll Never Get to Snow Lake Using Those” – a local rancher who offered to put us up one night when it looked like thunderstorms were moving in; Marvin who gave us Gatorade; turkey hunters who gave us good water information; Barbara from Quemado; Peter and Jean Ossorio from who offered help and information about wolves.

Best Thing That Happened: On our last day, Gottago and I woke up to hear a wolf howling in the early morning. The wolf tone is lower than that of a coyote with no yipping. We hiked off the divide where we had camped and into the grasslands leading to T-Bar Canyon. This route is recommended by Jim Wolf (no relation) for the scenery and is an area into which endangered Mexican grey wolves have been introduced.

We were looking at animal, people and tire prints in the dirt tracks when Gottago pointed to a lone grey wolf who was watching us. Curious, he watched as we approached, then he loped off to our right. A little later he crossed the tracks in front of us and disappeared into a draw to our left. An elk then ran from the area into the trees but the wolf didn’t bother pursuing it. For the next half hour the wolf played with us – crossing in front of us, once coming towards us, but never very close. Finally he tired of the game (those darned two-legged animals are so slow!) and we didn’t see him again. Last year I spent every day compiling Gratitude Checks for the goodness that came my way. Gratitude is too small a word for this event.

Worse Moment: Doing a face plant and spurting blood from a newly created hole in my nose.

Why I Love Gottago: Generous, giving, easy to be with, fun, disciplined, great energy, inspiring in every way, and best of all – always learning and growing.

Gear Review to follow.


I will be posting photos and posting journal entries at some point. Really.

1 comment:

Katya said...

How great! I loved reading this!!! Especially the worst day and best day.