Continental Divide Trail #10: New Mexico Moments

Porter has completed the New Mexico section of the Continental Divide Trail! Before we leap for now over Colorado because of the deep snowpack in the mountains and head for Wyoming, here’s a recap of significant moments from our seven weeks in New Mexico.


Porter’s most terrifying moment: crossing a wide river with fast current by balancing on this narrow log.




Gail invited to join Antler Club


Gail’s most ridiculous moment: trading two signed copies of I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail for three tie-dyed shirts and being invited to join the Antler Club in Truth or Consequences.






Saddest moment
: Porter being quizzed by Search & Rescue Team for any clues about a missing hiker (presumed dead) in the snowy mountains of Northern New Mexico.





Gail’s most beautiful hike: to this ridge top high above Ghost Ranch.

Amber’s wildest ride: on these two spirit animals.

Amber rides LP horses

Vaya con Dios, New Mexico!


30 comments on “Continental Divide Trail #10: New Mexico Moments

  1. Oh and the adventure continues. Seven weeks in New Mexico is OK. How many weeks in Wyoming??????
    Wishing you the very best and safe hiking.

    • No telling, Jerrie. There have been so many unexpected events in New Mexico I can’t even venture a guess about Wyoming. Hope you’re safe in Boulder with all the rain and now maybe snow.

      • It snowed. Jon and I stood out in the dark sweeping snow off our baby trees that were bent in half. That’s as much adventure as we can handle. Plus a little PTSD when the rains just didn’t, didn’t stop and I started thinking flood. You want to be glad you weren’t here. Your PTSD flood-related has to be 10 times. Take care.

  2. BRAVO x 3!!! goes out to Porter, Gail and Amber for all the team work required to make it through New Mexico! That narrow log, after enlarging the photo looks like it has numerous spikes–for foot and hand holds maybe?

    Now a jump over deep snows of CO and on to WY–woohoo! My husband, Alan(FROST) and fellow CDT hiker got caught in a snowstorm + hail this morning. They ended up on a side trip to High Country Alpaca Ranch where the owners John & Carolyn Fifield invited them in for pancakes. Trail angels ROCK! 🙂 Has Porter encountered any trail magic?

    • Ina Sue, So glad to hear that Frost is safe and encountered such trail magic! I asked Porter about his, and he said Yes, but mostly from Gail! As for the numerous spikes on the log, they were mainly obstacles not to trip on while balancing upright. Apparently the log had a flatter surface that had rolled under during a flood.

  3. I wouldn’t have made it as far as that log (not even in my best days), but if I had, that would have been the end of the trail for me! Hats off to Porter for his skill and perseverance.

    • Claire, I said the same thing–that log would have done it for me! Porter appreciates your comment, and we have no doubt were it not for the good vibes of our dear friends like you and Ral, he wouldn’t be here to tell the tale!

  4. Hi Gail and Porter. thought of you today in Wyoming as we crossed over the continental divide three times and wondered where the CDV trail was. We didn’t know that you were skipping over Colorado for now . . good idea, BUT the weather driving from the Wyoming border through Laramie and along Interstate 80 was blizzards mixed with downpours mixed with freezing winds. I hope Porter wasn’t braving all this!!!!! We planned to camp but decided to camp in Motel 6 rather than in snowy camp grounds. Teddy still wants to meet Amber. He is on trip with his favorite Puffin. Here’s to your huffin’ and puffin’ across Wyoming! The forecast is for better weather. Wyoming really is beautiful and green under the snow!! You are courageous!! Pat

    • Pat, we can’t thank you enough for this informative comment! We’re taking a couple of weeks before we head to Wyoming, while I go to Houston to be Visiting Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence for the Boldface Writers’ Conference and Porter garners his gear and resupplies for Wyoming and north. Porter and I deeply appreciate your expertise and experience.

  5. Isn’t the area around Ghost Ranch just magical?!!! Good luck in Wyoming and how wise to skip Colorado. I am getting horrible reports every day except for one girlfriend who is powder skiing up near the Divide!

    • Bobbe, yes, the Ghost Ranch area is magical and mysterious! Thanks for affirming that Colorado still has too much snow near the Divide for hiking.

  6. Gail and Porter hello – The log is not in my future! Hats off to your superior balance. And Gail, if you’ve a spare moment while you are in Houston I would love a quick visit, in-person update. I’ll buy the wine.

  7. I’m surprised porter hasn’t developed a titanium personal helicopter -like device to get over raging rivers-wily Coyote would have tried it. come to think of it, the things wily coyote tried normally didn’t work out so well.

  8. The adventure continues (clearly)! Hope to see you in Houston — just let me know when!


    • Dean, we are honored at your questions, in light of our huge admiration for your photography and outdoor adventure skills! Porter looks forward to replying in more detail via your email address, but in the meantime, his base weight before food and water was 8 lbs., until he just about froze in the snowy mountains of New Mexico and upped his base weight to 10 lbs. with a warmer sleeping bag (Western Mountaineering Versalite) and a full-length X-Therm pad. More soon–and thanks for being in touch. Warm regards from Porter and me, Gail

  9. LOVE the books for tie-dyed shirt trade and congrats on finishing NM! So happy that Porter crossed another river safely and sad that a hiker is presumed lost. Thank you for sharing the pictures, the highs and lows -your hike looks beautiful and lucky Amber gets to ride 2 spirit animals. I would crush them…I guess I am not a stuffed doll. LOL.

  10. Gail & Porter–how much longer before your return to the CDT thru-hike adventure?
    I’m expecting to hear from my husband(Alan) any day now, when he gets into Chama, NM.
    Ina Sue

    • Ina Sue, we leave early tomorrow for the Wyoming section. Skipping over Colorado for now because of the snowpack. Would love to hear how Frost is doing!

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