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





23 comments on “Continental Divide Trail #1: Porter Retires to Hike the CDT!

  1. Go Gail, A “trail angel” you say. I think of you more as a Fairy Godmother sprinkling pixy dust & metta on your own ethereal trail. Like the Princes of Serendip, you are embarking on a journey that will take you far beyond your carefully laid plans.

    • Fairy Godmother–I’ll take that! Barbara, thanks for this reminder that our journey will take us beyond our carefully laid plans. You’re a model to me of opening to the many dimensions of travel and wilderness, especially in the parts of the country you yourself know so well.

  2. Congratulations to Porter! A retirement so well deserved. Your dedication and brilliant work is leading you further into fulfilling your soul. You and Gail are, without a doubt, the most amazing couple I know! You never cease to amaze and delight everyone who knows and loves you both. May every step you both take forward together bring you the same great love, joy and peace you have always created! Vaya con Dios! We love you!

    • Thank you, dear Sallie Ann! Porter and I feel that you and Bob are the most amazing couple we know, so loving and generous to your family and friends. We keep your love and kindness in our hearts as we move into this journey!

  3. I can hardly wait to read of your new adventures. I’m especially intrigued by your unusual meditative retreat idea, Gail. You both amaze me!

  4. What a huge adventure for both of you. When do you start and how long will you be at it? Aren’t the mountains still knee deep in snow? Blessing to you and Porter. Xo

    • Jackie, we start March 26 at the border of Mexico, so hopefully won’t be dealing with snow (or much) in New Mexico in April and early May. We may leap over Colorado since it has the highest mountains and most snow and come back to it in the end after Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Blessings to you and George! xo

  5. Congratulations on your retirement, Porter! May you each flow with the changes on your quest conscious of that which never changes. Blessings.

  6. Oh I am in awe of Porter and you, Gail. Both worthy journeys and adventures of the internal and external. Life is meant to be lived and you guys are great inspirations. Also am happy that you both can take some time for yourselves, Best wishes and look forward to hearing about it. Much love to you both.

  7. Retirement is the best. Hiking is only second best but add them together!!!!!
    I’m not sure who I envy more—meditation retreat or hiking in the high country. You both know how to live.

  8. What a wonderful next step for you and for Porter! You both inspire me (and so many others) with your inner and outer adventures, which you so generously share! And since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, i’d like to wish you safe journeys with this old Irish blessing: “May the road rise up to meet you.May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields; and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

  9. So glad I got to see you both in Philadelphia 🙂
    Looking forward to hearing all about your new adventure.
    Take care and be safe.

  10. Porter is one lucky mountain man; time to hike and an awesome trail angel. Keep it up. It is a dream in reality.
    Thanks for posting your journey.

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