Archives for March 2015

Continental Divide Trail #3: The Adventure Begins!

Philip, Gail, & Porter, Hachita, NM

On Saturday, March 28, I dropped off Porter and Philip in Hachita, NM, for their two-hour ride (thanks, Jeff Sharp!) over bumpy dirt roads to start their CDT hike at Crazy Cook Monument near the Mexican border. (Philip will hike the first five days with Porter.)

Porter walks into desert near Lordsburg to drop off 5 gals. water for cache


The day before, Porter and I drove ten hours to three remote CDT road crossings, where Porter walked into the desert to leave five gallons of water at each for his and Philip’s water resupply over the first 87 miles. (Note to CDT Northbounders, the water caches had plenty of water, about 20-30 gals. each.) While I waited for Porter, the Border Patrol stopped to ask what I was doing there, so the agent and I had a nice chat.

 Amber with Piero, the Quality Inn towel animal


Ensconced at the Quality Inn in Deming, NM, I’ve begun my solo meditation retreat. As for Amber, here she is sharing a chocolate chip cookie with Piero, our Quality Inn towel animal, no doubt plotting mayhem.


Continental Divide Trail #2: Getting Ready!

Preparing for our six-month Continental Divide Trail adventure is one of the most challenging parts of the whole journey! Porter has planned his route from the Mexican to the Canadian border, applied for camping permits in Glacier and Yellowstone, made or customized most of his ultralight gear, downloaded the map apps on both of our cell phones, and much more. This 11-second video shows him getting ready to figure out and bag portions of food for breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners. And this is just the first installment, like maybe a week’s worth?!

Gail gets her hair styled to clean the floor

We’re both full speed ahead on getting our house, landscape, finances, and every aspect of our lives in order. My preparations range from car maintenance to hotel reservations to packing to getting my hair done to cleaning the house, especially sweeping chia seeds off the floor.

Amber prepares for CDT






Amber is busy packing her own food supplies, consisting entirely of chocolate bars.


 Continental Divide Trail, here we come!

Continental Divide Trail #1: Porter Retires to Hike the CDT!

Porter trains for CDTIt’s really true–Porter has retired from his position as Executive VP of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, with much fanfare at their Annual Assembly for his thirty years of leadership in hospice and palliative medicine! He also retired from his clinical practice as a palliative care doc for Kaiser Permanente, and will miss his colleagues deeply.

He’s training assiduously for his 3,100-mile hike of the Continental Divide Trail from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada, over the mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana by hiking Boulder’s peaks several hours a day. Porter being Porter, he’s making and customizing new ultralight gear, including his backpack (of camouflage fabric barely visible in this photo).

Have tiara, willl travel

Have tiara, will travel! I’ll be Porter’s “trail angel” support, moving from town to town somewhat close to his CDT route. About once a week I’ll drive to a trailhead, hike in to meet him, bring him into town for a day or so to resupply his food, clean up and do laundry, eat, drink, and be very merry!

While Porter hikes, I’ll be doing a solo meditation retreat– sitting and walking meditation based on my 40-year practice with teachers from various contemplative traditions.

Porter and I will keep track of each other’s whereabouts via our satellite trackers, which work in the mountains where cell phones are iffy.

Amber w:Porter's stethoscope & balloonsThe incorrigible Amber, with whom some of you are acquainted from her blog at, has misappropriated both Porter’s stethoscope and his Retirement balloons. She can be counted on to insert snarky comments in this CDT blog post series about Porter’s hike and my solo meditation retreat.

This blog will be our main way of staying in touch with y’all. We look forward to hearing from you, and I’ll respond to your questions and comments in the Comments section under each post.  Please do feel free to subscribe to the blog at (left column under “Sign up for Updates on our New Adventures”) if you haven’t already, and to share with anyone who might be interested.

Happy trails to all!  Gail and Porter