CDT Update Two: Lordsburg, NM

Deb hiking on the Continental Divide Trail.
Deb hiking the Continental Divide Trail.

We have now hiked the first 85 miles of the Continental Divide Trail from Crazy Cook to Lordsburg, NM. It’s been a great adventure so far with plenty of beautiful scenery. It reminds me a little of the Anza Borrego area in Southern CA. The terrain and vegetation is somewhat similar and the CDT is often a cross country route like many of the trips I made in Anza Borrego with my Sierra Club friends.

The CDT section in the New Mexico bootheel often crosses vast flat areas between small mountains. The land appears to be mostly BLM grazing land leased to ranchers. Almost no people live out here. Hikers share the water in the occasional troughs and solar windmills with the cattle. Except for three border patrol agents off in the distance, we saw no one except for a few other hikers the past six days.

The actual trail, much of the time, is not a trail at all. Often it is just posts every few hundred yards or few tenths of a mile marking a cross country route. Hikers can follow the posts or pick their own route as they see fit.

They may have the largest jack rabbits in the world here. You see lots of them, especially as you hike early in the mornings.

Early one morning we spooked a small herd of antelope that galloped off with amazing speed.

Odd things happen on the trail too. On our last day before reaching Lordsburg we were taking a break in the shade of a small bush. We had taken off our shoes and a bee landed on my sock clad foot. The bee walked around on my sock for about a minute and then fell dead on the ground. I’m not sure what that means.

The CDT has been hard on our feet. It must be the combination of heat, dirt, and rocks. Deb has many blisters and I have one. We plan on taking a day off from hiking tomorrow to give our feet time to recover.

It’s not just our feet either. The small hiker box here at the Econolodge has two pair of discarded shoes. After only 85 miles of hiking they are not worn out, but caused so much discomfort hikers decided to give them away. Another hiker was waiting in the motel lobby for the 3 pm UPS delivery of new shoes. Everyone’s advice here is to stop and shake out sand and small rocks sooner to keep abrasions low. And sweaty socks don’t help either.

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