Nothing ever goes as planned. No matter how much research and YouTube binging you do on any subject, having the experience is always, always profoundly different. The start of my CDT thru-hike did not defy this expectation. One minute I was visualizing in my head being there, the next minute I was there with 85 miles of desert between me and the next McDonalds. It would be a long way to go.
Today I say farewell to Truth or Consequences and start the trip to Crazy Cook. We've been here about 6 months which I've put almost training 500 miles along the Rio Grande. Along the way I've taken photos of some of the sights and put a few together in this video, please enjoy.
The Fearless Bus has had the good fortune to stumble upon some real gems for hikers and campers alike this spring. While Jaco and I await Papa Crunch to get from Mt. Taylor to Cuba, NM, we are staying at a hiker camp/hostel called Rebels Roost. It's right along the highway after you pass through the town of Cuba. Now, you wouldn't know what it was unless you were privy to some hiker intel. We had never heard of Rebels Roost until we ran into another hiker at Toaster House (Pie Town). We looked it up and found a facebook thread that the owner had posted in one of the CDT hiking groups.
After running errands in the early afternoon, I took off about 3:30 heading out only a few miles. The path and location have a BLM road that is very sandy with a pretty steep up hill climb from the first mile to the campsite. Once I got there I was able to set up camp fairly quickly considering that this was the first time out overnight with this backpack.
I chose this spot after hiking by it several times because it seemed like an easy place to set up If any trouble cropped up on my first trip I wasn't far from home. The very loose and sandy road gave a a pretty good work out even though it was a short distance. Once set up I settled in, gathering some wood and making a fire. It occurred to me at this moment that I'd never tent camped overnight in the desert.
My alarm went off about 5:45 a.m. Didn't get out of the tent till about 6:15. It took about an hour and 2 cups of coffee to break down as I kind of milled around for about 10-15 minutes when I first woke up. By 7:45 the camp is completely broke down and I'm heading back down the trail. I survived my first night in the desert alone.
I went through 3 1/2 liters of water overnight mostly because I killed the first go around at dinner. So I headed back to the Bus because 1/2 litter for 2 1/2 miles is completely doable. I didn't want to try and strech it to the 4 miles to the Elephant Butte dam. After suprising Kris and Jaco, a refill of water and a cup of coffee, I left at 10:00 a.m. heading to Elephant Butte.
So in case you missed it, I've decided to hike the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail from The New Mexico / Mexico border to Glacier National Park on the Canadian / US border.