Continental Divide Trail #28: Yogi, Rockstar Thru-Hiker!

So I’m descending 12,000-foot Mount Flora, solo after leaving Og (aka Porter) to continue north on the Continental Divide Trail.

“Gail?!” a woman calls out behind me. Who the heck could I possibly know out here? And I’m like, “Uh, ya, and you are?”

“Yogi,” she says. “I met your husband up the trail and he said to watch for you.”

“THE Yogi?” As in author of Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook, Yogi’s Continental Divide Trail Handbook, and Yogi’s Colorado Trail Handbook, the definitive guides to the trails and trail-town resupply stops that pretty much every thru- and section-hiker, not to mention trail-angel, can’t do without?

She smiled modestly. This of Yogi and me is one of the pivotal photo-ops of my entire hiking life. 

Yogi is completing her second Triple Crown–thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail.

“Do you need a ride from the trailhead anywhere?” I asked.

“Winter Park,” she said. “But that’s the opposite way from where you’re going.”

“I am totally taking you to Winter Park,” I said. 

She lifted her pack into Angel2, my Trail-Angelmobile.

“What’s your base weight?” I asked. As ultralighters with pack base weights of 12 and 11 pounds for Og and me, respectively, on the Pacific Crest Trail, and 8 pounds for Og on the Continental Divide Trail, I was bursting with curiosity.

“I don’t know, I don’t weigh my pack,” she said.

Say whaaaat? On our drive to Winter Park, we talked about what she carried–a real, enclosed tent, in contrast to our 7 oz. tarp, a significant sleeping pad, all kinds of gear that I could never manage. But look at her legs! She’s solid babelicious muscle.

Over lunch in town, we talked about navigation (she relies on map and compass, in contrast to so many, including Og and me, who now use Guthooks and similar apps), nutrition, and other things that would make you ask “and you’re telling me this because?”

Dedicated to the well being of a national community of hikers, Yogi assiduously gathers, updates, and publishes the essential info about the trails and resupply towns. I feel I speak for the larger thru-hiking community when I say I simply cannot imagine how we’d prepare for and succeed on our PCT, CDT, and CT hikes without Yogi’s generous sharing of her extraordinary gifts, knowledge, and hard work. Thank you, Yogi, with a deep bow of gratitude, and an outpouring of appreciate Love!

For Yogi’s absolutely invaluable guidebooks and other products:

Continental Divide Trail #27: Knife-Edge Ridges, Wind, & Goats!

This section of the Continental Divide Trail, from Copper Mountain to Grays Peak, parted ways with the Colorado Trail to head north. Og (aka Porter) hiked knife-edge ridges with steep drop-offs on both sides.

He saw few other hikers but lots of wildlife, from marmots, ptarmigans, and ravens to mountain goats! 

He melted snow to drink, since water was scarce, at least until the storms moved in. 

Finding a flat enough spot to camp was a challenge. Here the wind was so fierce he had to use heavy rocks to hold down his staked tarp. 

I faced my own challenge–driving miles up a steep, deeply rutted jeep road to pick up Og at the Grays Peak trailhead. But it was my birthday, and I was determined to bring him back to celebrate with Amber and me over dinner at an excellent Frisco restaurant! 

Thank you for all your birthday wishes via email and Facebook! They warmed my heart, and reminded Og and me how grateful we are for your friendship.

Continental Divide Trail #9: Red Rocks to On the Rocks

Porter & Gail at Los Poblanos

One of our favorite things before Porter gets back on the trail is to have a festive dinner, as we did at Los Poblanos Inn and Organic Farm.





Porter hikes north from Los Pinos Trailhead north of Cuba, NM

The hardest thing for me to do is drop off Porter at a remote trailhead, knowing he’ll face challenges alone that neither of us can anticipate, from rain, snow, and wind to steep climbs, lack of water, and navigational dilemmas.

The second hardest thing is locating him for resupply out in the middle of nowhere, our maps and technology notwithstanding. I drove up and down one road, only to drive off as he was waving frantically behind me. We always manage to find each other, though.

red rock cliffs in No. NM

The stunning beauty of the Northern New Mexico landscape, such as the many red rock cliffs that Porter climbed, and the thrill of our inner journeys, makes the not-knowing more than worth it.


Amber had a busy time in Santa Fe, visiting the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, shopping for gifts for her friends (including the two pairs of earrings she models here), and knocking back a margarita on the rocks at Maria’s.

Amber & earrings at Cafe Pasqual








Continental Divide Trail #8: A Blizzard and A White Peacock

From inside Porter's tarp

Porter's tarp in snow






Porter got caught in a blizzard after climbing to 10,000 feet near Mount Taylor, NM. Here’s the view from inside his 7-oz. tarp, where he woke to a foot of snow, then dug himself out. Even his sleeping bag got soaked!


Snow hid the trail

The trail was hidden under snow, but he did all the right backcountry survival things.






Porter & Gail at Antiquity restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque



Here we are celebrating at Antiquity in Albuquerque.



Meanwhile, Amber fell in love with Albert, the White Peacock at Los Poblanos Inn and Organic Farm. He told her that he brings Eternal Happiness, which she could totally relate to.

Albert and Amber




Happy Earth Day, Earthlings!

Comments welcome. And what do you love about our home planet?