Continental Divide Trail #5: Would You Drink This?

Porter had to find water on his next hiking section from Lordsburg to Silver City, NM, since there weren’t any water caches. Would you drink water from these sources??

natural pool w:horse prints to, Lordsburg-Silver City NM section
natural pool with horse prints
cattle trough
cattle trough





Porter's RapidPure filtering water
Porter’s RapidPure filtering water


algae-covered cattle spring
algae-covered spring for cattle








Me neither! But he filtered water with his trusty RapidPure.



at CDT Trail Days, Little Toad Brewery, Silver City, NMHappily, he made it into Silver City for beer at the CDT First Annual Trail Days and Kick Off at the Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery! Here we are with Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

It was a great party, and a good time was had by all, CDT hikers and supporters alike.

26 comments on “Continental Divide Trail #5: Would You Drink This?

    • Carol, Amber is thrilled you asked about her! She has her own blog at, but for the next six months she’s accompanying Porter and me on our Continental Divide Trail adventure, poking fun at Porter’s hike and my solo meditation retreat, among other ignoble pursuits. I stole her thirty years ago from the kids’ psychotherapy room where our Course in Miracles class was held–she made me do it, so that gives you a heads-up about her outrageousness right there! Thanks for asking, made her day! XO

    • Hi Gail! I’m so glad Porter had his trusty water purifier with him on his trek. There are always obstacles to overcome with a journey, eh? I also loved the photo of you three at the brewery, good fun to be had by all. I hope you are enjoying yourself too. We are having a little potluck shindig this Saturday for our Aqua group along with a few other good friends. Wish you and Porter could be here to share in the festivities but, we’ll definitely do it again soon. Take care and know we are all thinking of you both and wishing you well on your adventures. Your Friend, Andrea

  1. Dear Gail,

    Porter looks great (as you do!) in your photo, so I guess he picked the right water source! As for Amber, she’s my fave and I always enjoy her posts — and she’s sooo photogenic, too!

    Off for my chilled bottle of Evian and my usual night time activity . . . ahem . . . sitting on the couch with my dog Gracie while we both drool.

    Love to you both,

    • A chilled bottle of Evian–yes, a far cry from Porter’s water sources! As for me, last night while Porter was on the trail, I had a glass of J. Roget champagne with dinner. Silver City has surprisingly wonderful restaurants, it’s a real foodie town.

  2. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink! Not sure where that quote comes from. I’m thinking old nursery rhyme. Anyway, I’m glad Porter had it figured out! Nice to know you guys are progressing along.

    • Jerrie, yes, you reminded me of one of my favorite lines, from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”! “Water water every where, nor any drop to drink.” And instead of an albatross around his neck, Porter has his backpack. ;-D

  3. The adventures of Gail, Porter and Amber have given me enlightenment for years! Your retirement, Porter, will be anything but retirement. You are the most engaged and engaging people I have ever known! Ever! Every step you take on any trail, just know all three of you have our enormous respect, admiration and LOVE! ❤️

    • Sallie Ann and Bob, we’ve been following your amazing mission work and continue to be inspired! You’re models to us of being truly engaged and a force for good in the world. We love you both to pieces!

  4. If I was thirsty, I’m sure I would. A very, very long time ago, a friend and I drove a Citroen Deux Cheveaux from Bordeaux, France, to Gibraltar. Much of Spain is like the US Southwest — hot, sunny and very dry. Did I mention it was mid-summer? We were from Connecticut and had no idea how thirsty we would get and had no water in the car. At one point, we pulled off the road and drank from a water tap above a cattle trough. And yes, it had been well used.

    After I moved to Colorado, I quickly learned to take water — but not always enough. A number of years ago, my husband and I liked up Greyrock Mountain. We started from home early, but it’s a long drive, so by the time we got on the trail, the sun was pretty high. I ran out of water before we got to the top– 3+ miles, 2,000+ feet and blazingly hot. There’s a little lake at the summit. I saw a dead mouse floating in it. I drank anyway — scooping water far from the little rodent corpse.

    I suppose I’m lucky, but I didn’t get sick either time. Then again, each experience was just a single long drink — not days of backpacking and drinking from whatever.

    • Yikes, Claire, you learned about water the hard way! I’ve been thinking of you in Silver City, it’s a real foodie town with several very good restaurants–Diane’s, Tre Rosat, etc. You’ve probably been here, world traveller that you are!

  5. When I went backpacking in the olden days I could drink right from the river, no one heard about giardiasis and there were no water filters. No Pacific Crest Trail either. That makes me quite old but I enjoy hiking along with you in spirit.
    Happy trails to you all!

    • Love your comment, Christa! And it’s wonderful when there’s a river to drink from (even if the water needs filtering, which unfortunately it mostly does these days, because of human and animal presence upstream. Stay tuned for the next post about the change in terrain from so dry he had to resort to cattle troughs to the Gila River, which so far he’s had to cross 53 times!

  6. I’d like to a gauge the interest in Chicago’s Hyde Park and nearby areas in starting a Humanistic Judaism congregation.

  7. Salmonella, shigella, E. coli, Oh MY!
    Giardia, nitrates and sulfates, Oh MY!
    Porter, I’m sure your knowledge of what’s in that water makes you an extra cautious water-cleaner-upper! Still, I know what was going through your head, and the look that was on your face! Happy Trails!

  8. Quite the extremes in terms of finding libation–you both seem more relaxed than as reported in IPNTS–good and travel with my pats on your respective backs.

  9. You really have to trust your water filter! I used to drink right out of streams in the High Sierra when I was young. But then Giardia became an issue. 🙁

    • Kathleen, those must have been wonderful days, when you could drink right out of High Sierra streams. At least the water filters keep getting better and better. Porter and I used Aqua Mira drops, and sometimes a water filter too, when we hiked the PCT. Hope you’re having lots of great adventures yourself these days!

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