April 14th 2022
I was awake a 4.30 excited and nervous, I picked up my bag It groaned under the weight but I was fairly confident. Okay time to go to the pick up point which was near to the post office. So I knew it well.
It was a cold morning so I put on my puffy before making my way down and onto the street.
The walk to the post office didn’t take long and I was soon there, I gave my name then went inside the building to wait. A guy called Tim was able to sell me gas so i was good, then another guy wrapped my pack in a bin liner to protect it from the dust.!!
Then we were on our way 12 hikers were being taken out this morning although it would take several hours to get to the start. Every now and then our drivers would stop to show us the water cache location.
At last the monument came into sight…wow
We had our pictures taken followed by group picture.
Time to go first steps, I was heading out hauling 5 litres of water (just in case)
The trail started flat and I was enjoying my first steps on the CDT, But it began to get hotter and hotter and my pace fell to a plod. I decided that I needed a break then another hour I needed another I took about an hour hiding from the sun.
They trail began to follow an old river bed covered in sand which is no fun to walk on. The trail markers where really sparse and somehow I missed one and carried up the canyon for an hour before realising something is not right. I opened my app and then began to swear i had walked almost 2 miles off trail.
So a important lesson learnt, it had appeared many others had done the same as there were still numerous footprints .I tried to plot a route back by bushwhacking but every plant here want to to hurt you so with dozens of gashes on my legs I still was nowhere near the trail. So sadly I turned around and walked back the way I had came, I should have done that straight away, dam there’s the bloody trail marker.
By now had lost time and miles and was drastically short of water and it was 5 miles to the next cache. I couldn’t do that in this heat and I was spent but it was still too hot to put up my tent so found some shade until it was cool enough to put up my tent and so to bed
Mileage 9.6 poor first day