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.


31 comments on “Continental Divide Trail #3: The Adventure Begins!

  1. Dear Gail,

    Wow — I am totally in awe! You sound incredibly organized, which is, I can see, an absolute necessity. Meanwhile, how wonderful that Porter is being joined by Philip for the start of his journey — you three make such an incredible team! Hope all goes smoothly and do let me know if there is any way I can be of help.


    • Brenda, yes, Porter and I are feeling pretty self-actualized in the organization department. In the weeks before we left, our brains were on major overload but it paid off. Now that I’m set up at the Quality Inn, I’m really enjoying the simplicity of living in one room and living each day quietly for the time being. Thanks for your offer of help, all good vibes deeply appreciated. Much love!

      • Fantastic, Gail; Kudos to you and Porter and Philip for ‘launching’ all of the efforts. I just finished a 2.5 day silent (remote) retreat at home using recordings and Skype with Dharma buddies. Amazing to be able to set the time aside. I’m wowed with your dedication. Metta to you all,


        • Mary, so wonderful that you had an opportunity for a silent retreat at home. My days in between supporting Porter are simple and conducive to lots of sitting and walking meditation, with yoga too. Metta to you too!

      • Love the descriptions, and the pictures Gail! I especially loved the photo of you atop the mtn what a great way to start your adventure. I’m sure Porter and Phillip are enjoying the anticipation of hitting the trial with
        gusto. What fun for all of you! Take care and smile, you have a wealth of friends pulling for you and hoping for the best. I’m looking forward to future blog/updates. XO Andrea & Del

        • Thanks, Andrea and Del, and I see you were able to get my blog post! I plan to do one about once a week, the next one this weekend. I appreciate everyone’s good vibes, and am sending them to you all too!

    • Barbara, what a vital Old Southern CDT Blessing, much appreciated! While he was training in the Front Range, Porter sat in cactus needles and I got good with tweezers. ;-D Hope all is lovely with you!

  2. Hurrah, “you’re off!” Both of you. When I say “I’m off!” in walking out the door for a trip to the library or grocery store, Patrick sings back with “More than usual?”

    By golly, we remember that water tank in the top picture!

    Safe journey, glorious journey, we’ll watch the posts and hold you in our hearts,

    • Kathleen, It’s so wonderful to know you were in that very spot yourself! Loved your hilarious account of Patrick the Studmuffin’s response to your “I’m off!” Thanks for holding us in your hearts. Porter and Philip are doing that tough, second full day, 20-mile stretch between water caches today, so I’m meditating for them extra special.

  3. That girl, Amber, knows how meditate like I meditate–cookie and dog!!!!!
    Good luck to you both. It will be really fun to follow your progress.

  4. So excited to hear that the hike has commenced! It’s really cool that Phillip gets to go with Porter at first, and that you’re looking out after them, Gail. Thanks for blogging the journey so that we less adventurous folks can look in and smile! Happy Trails to all! Retirement is BLISS!

    • Rae Ann, yes, Retirement is bliss! I’m staying at the Quality Inn, but walk by lots of RV parks here in Deming, NM on my morning walk, and think of what fun you and John must have on wheels!

  5. Your multitude of fans, friends and followers from Boulder will be there with you every step of the way,
    via this Storeybook Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you, Spencer, that means so much to us! I’m so grateful to have this extended opportunity for my solo meditation retreat. It’s very peaceful here at the Quality Inn in Deming, NM, and I’ve got a good practice going–2 hours of walking meditation, an hour or so of sitting, eating meditation at lunch, a bit of email meditation after lunch, then an afternoon of more sitting with yoga in between. Lovely, and sending much lovingkindness to all of you!

    • It’s working well, Beth, thanks! Each of us is thrilled with our respective journeys. ;-D I’m loving the simplicity of my days. Hope all is great with you!

  6. Traveling with you. This journey of so many milestones. Our hearts and thoughts are with you as we eagerly anticipate each Chapter of this Storey! HUGS!!!!

    • Thank you, Jane and Lloyd! Porter was just able to call me from his cell phone out in the middle of the desert. He and Philip are camped for the night and I plan to pick them up tomorrow at a trail (dirt) road crossing, YAY!
      He says there’s not much of a trail to follow, but they’re figuring it out as they go along.

  7. Thrilled to get the heads up recently from Randy Godfrey about Porter starting the CDT. My husband, Alan Fox (aka FROST) has thru-hiked the AT and PCT. He too is going to hike the CDT, starting on April 16. Who knows–maybe Alan will meet up with Porter at some point on the CDT. I look forward to following Porter here on your blog.

    • Ina Sue, wonderful that Alan aka Frost will thru-hike the CDT, thanks for letting us know! Hope he and Porter meet up at some point. Feel free to ask me any questions about Porter’s CDT experience thus far if Porter’s input can be of help. I’m guessing that Frost is on the CDT 2015 group on Facebook too.

  8. Bon voyage -how is it going? I’m writing in a bit late, so am wondering what trouble Amber and Piero had manifested? You all look wonderful, good smile, good hair. A great beginning, and leave it to you, Gail, to have a nice chat with the boarder patrol.

    • It’s going fabulously, Sue, thanks! So far all Amber has overdone has been the waffles at breakfast, egged on by Piero, but may that be the big problem, LOL! While I was talking to the border patrol, I looked up to see Porter running toward us across the desert, for fear I was being arrested!

      • Yeah really, may the waffles be the big problem. I can see Porter running toward you and Border Patrol. That got his circulation moving… I’d imagine your charm and eloquence convey the situation/the hiking trip quite well. 🙂

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