DAY 145 Heading to Benchmark day 2

SEP 5th

I woke early to the sound of the wind still roaring. But I had slept really well.

I dozed until my next alarm  before   I began to get ready .

I went for a wee and retrieved my bear bag that  was still where I left it.

I slowly packed up  slurped my tea  and I was ready.

I looked up at the climb  that I was about to do,  tightened my pack and began .

I hadn’t gone far when the trail

suddenly turned right and preceeded to head down and down  and it was a lovely wide path  I followed this path down for almost an hour and then got really annoyed as if I had known it was going to be this  good  I would have gone on.but  sadly I do not own a crystal ball or hindsight..

Now  the trail began to climb  but it wasn’t too bad as there were switchbacks  and they were not steep and they  were shaded  by  trees on both sides. As I walked I kept saying to myself I could have camped there,there’s a good spot  and there. Oh that would have been a good spot .

Eventually I emerged  out  onto the ridge  and there was no trees or shelter as I began to cross the wind  returned with vengeance. 

OMG  it was fierce,I removed my hat  or risked it being  ripped from my head the noise of the wind was also deafening and as I walked I turned into a crab as  forward movement seemed impossible in places I fought not to be blown off of my feet.

I stared ahead and could see the wibbly wobbly  line of the trail  meander  over several  more  large hills and disappear off into the distance. This was going to be so much fun….NOT!

I pushed on walking sideways as it was impossible to  go straight battling  with  the ferocity of the wind.

Again I thought should have done more last  night.

I  counted off the hills as I  crossed them, after   the last one I headed   into more trees and a break from the wind..  but once through it  I was presented   with more of what I had just crossed  with the trail Once again crossing several more hills and into the distance.  But  now the wind had subsided  and I could walk normally and wear my hat .

I was  getting nearer to Rogers pass and  a good time to grab lunch.

I began to climb yet another large hill  when almost at the top I noticed people, mother and son on a day hike . The mother made me smile as she was carrying an enormous  sheaf knife .

What are you planning to hunt I asked?

This made her laugh.

We chatted for a while before  heading  in our different directions 

Soon I could make out the road and the trail  began to head down.

I went  left  then right along the switch acts  bit it seemed to take forever until I was at the trail head.

 Phew.i found a large rock and 

Dropped my pack. Used the bathroom and as there was a trash can dropped my trash.

Lunchtime, I ate a load of snacks and then took a few photos of the sign as it’s my name  ha ha.

Okay  what goes down has to  go  up so reluctantly  hoisted up my pack again and began the climb out . As i began to climb I stopped and put on an audio book these seem to help me push  miles .so  head  down and walk.

Once again I’m carrying water and once again its heavy  such fun .

I pushed on climbing with the odd  few minutes of swearing until 3.30 when I needed a break .

But  only a quick stop as I wanted more miles  .I had plenty of  food  but  really wanted to push on to bench mark  or at least get to the water. I set off again  turning  up the music  but  it was l mad climbs again but i was determined to push  and get  there. I refused to look at my watch incase  it laughed  at me.

Okay  I need more motivation so went from audio book to music.

That’s a better beat.

Okay  I can peek at my watch now  6.30  Okay snail   we are almost  there.

Water…..I watered  up and  not much further was the perfect spot …

My tent was soon up and relax.


DAY 53 Heading to Lake city (The knife edge)


The alarm went off I silenced it as  I am not getting up yet. I think there were 4 other hikers at the lake last night. I hadn’t  heard  them leave but I presumed they had.
At 6.30 I let the air out of my mattress  and slowly got up and began packing up. 
I put on a brew ,the people who sent me a resupply / care package. Included some tea and It’s is oh so delicious its by Bigelow  and is called  constant gourmet and its tea with orange and spices so quenching and tasty. Okay time is getting on, miles to crush as it seemed fairly warm I packed my puffy .
First I need to get back in the trail and its a scramble up the side of a waterfall to rejoin .
Okay lets go, as I climbed higher I said goodbye to the  pond and my sleeping  spot.

The first part was nice , undulating so no real stress yet!! As I  continued a small heard of elk ran in front of me. Sorry still no footage…. 
Okay now its time to climb and it wasn’t long until I was facing the knifes edge.
I was going to bail on the alternate  to Trout Lake if I wasn’t happy.

I walked the few yards to where it began and put out a foot, all the rocks were loose and a huge boulder gave way and went hurtling into the valley below.
I’m really Not sure, In fact I was bricking it.
I tried again and another loose rock  rolled  down.
Nope, I really do not like this so walked back to where the trout lake alternate route starts .This trail wasn’t exactly  fantastic either, in fact it looked as sketchy as F*ck
I walked back over to the knife and looked again. Nope dam too scary for  me. 
I sat down on a rock and began to ponder or rather procrastinate for a very long time.
I put on my spikes, removed my ice axe from my pack and stowed one of poles, I collapsed  the other to what i thought was a useful length .
Okay Snailtrainer just do not die !!, I hoisted up my pack then wound the ice axe lease tightly around  my wrist. Okay snail 🐌 
I walked back up to the knifes edge, I am sure that you could hear the sound of my heartbeat echoing around the valley.
I approached the Knife edge again but stepped lower onto the ice .
I was as scared as F*ck I jammed my axe  into the ice and then reached out with a foot. My pole was a nuisance but I can not sort  yet.
I kicked in with foot it seemed to hold . I then hacked a handhold in the ice . (Probably not the best way to cross) but it worked for me .I kicked in another foot hold before swinging my axe to make another hand hold…  Gripped it then kicked in with my other foot.
I was soon across the first ice chute, my heart was racing and sweat was pouring  down my face one down.
I stood on a small part of trail to enable me to get my breath back before moving onto number TWO.
To be fair it wasn’t as bad as the first ..Thank god and so I was able to cross this one more quickly.
Phew two down ..Onto the next and the next. 
I have too say that the mud  is far more slippery than the snow.
Once across the trail was littered with those scratchy  shrubs, that  rip at your legs and I hike in shorts .arrrrrhhhh.
I looked ahead, there were about 6 more of these ice chutes to cross then I’m done .
Whoop whoop and relax , I am done and exhausted , think it was just a big adrenalin RUSH !!
Now where  is that bloody trail?
Got-yer.  I crossed a meadow then began to climb, there was still snow and trying to spot the trail was  taxing so I headed straight up and there it was. 
At the next big rock I took a break before noticing another hiker far below. I signalled to him where the trail was but he kept on his course and amazingly he intercepted  the trail.
Now why can’t I do that ?
His name was kaleidoscope, spooky and he was heading into Silverton.
I told him I was going straight to Lake City, He sped off and I mean sped  off.
He was one of the hikers at the Lake last night 
Oh there one other behind me Snail he said as he hiked on.
Once I was at the top I could see which way he went and the other hiker heading towards me.
I sat here for a few minutes taking in the view before beginning my descent.
It wasn’t  long until the other hiker caught and passed me, But a little way up he called to advise me of a  turn that he had missed. 
I continued climbing ,once up it was town but the trail meandered in a lazy way.
I heard voices behind, it was the other two hikers who had stayed at the lake. 
We chatted for a few minutes then they were gone.
I chugged on eventually catching one who had stooped  to refuel
Good plan I said, I will take mine when I finish this climb so chugged on and up until i found a suitable spot and dropped my pack. I took off my shoes and socks before covering my left foot in ice as it was feeling tender today. I then ate a few snacks and relaxed for 15 minutes. 
Okay more to climb and they were steep.  Once up I could  see the trail snake up the next mountain and disappear into a snow overhang. Mmm that also looks scary..

I set off up the path and eventually reached the snow overhang I could see footprints climbing up and through the snow so followed on up , once up I could see several cairns directing me.
The trail then disappeared over the edge and so I set off after it.
OMG it was down a very long way down the trail snaking down and through so may of the scratchy  shrubs. BASTARD things! I think I was travelling down for 40 mins before I headed into a forest, there were a few tree jumps but nothing scary.
As I marched on I began to hear the sound of water rushing, but couldn’t see it until i emerged out of the forest .I began to follow it down the hillside, until the trail crossed it . Once across I decided to take  a break and grab water . I was so warm resting that I needed to put up my umbrella.
I used my magic pen, guzzled down a litre before flavouring  the other bottle and pouring into my bladder.  I checked my mileage . Omg that’s crap….Oh well.
I needed some inspiration and motivation so stuck in my earbuds .Okay snail , I cranked up the music, grabbed my poles , I really wanted 6 more miles but would settle for 4 .
I stomped down the trail, jumping logs and crossing muddy bogs I was on a  mission I pushed and pushed but to be honest there wasn’t much more in the  tank.
I did as much as I could but at 4pm I was done so when i spotted a suitable spot i threw up my tent.
I went to the pond and grabbed water, On the way back Kid arrived, We chatted a while he bailed from he knife edge as too dam scary but hopes to be in town Thursday .
The Aussies and his girly are behind and I think are struggling.
I got my kitchen together and fired up my stove. Tea first then couscous with bacon bits and a cheese wedge

Bloody tasty. Okay i have finished cooking and too my tent

Milage 10 but happy 

DAY 40 Day 2 Chama

23rd May

I sleep really well when I don’t have to get up

I put on the coffee machine and stepped into the shower.

Oh nice hot water , treat  😋 

I got dry and drank my coffee.

Okay snail Positive thoughts !!!!

I grabbed the paper work and headed for the post office

I joined the queue,as I was waiting  Chameleon  arrived. 

Okay my turn.they still were unable to locate my box that says it was delivered here. But they will look again after lunch. They advised me that my other box was at chama  Colorado and try to ring and the other was at Elpaso Texas.

I tried customer services  no help. 

Okay I rang the first PO The  man was helpful and said it had been returned to sender. So Lordsburg. 

I rang  Lordsburg  next ,it wasn’t  there yet so.i left a forwarding address.

Next was Texas but no answer after a dozen rings 

Okay I need some fresh air  so went for a walk up the road  .I called in at the local store.  But most of the shelfs had been stripped by us hikers there appears to be  high numbers this year. But I managed to get needles and thread to repear  my pack.

My repair

Wandering back through town I recognised  several hikers in the garden of the coffee shop,sat by a huge fire pit. Seems every body is waiting for a box or missing a box .

Okay mind made up now   I will reorder  kit when I get back to my hotel and hike out tomorrow..

So ordered and sent to Pagosa

I then visited the post office 1 more time they again were really helpful. But sadly no box.but again I left  forwarding   address just in case.

Okay I feel a lot better even though I’ve spent another $300  on replacement kit.

Okay relax .I finished off my potato  salad and ham.followed by a fruit jelly washed down with a beer.

I then repaired by  looks okay well will do .(hopefully)

Now to do nothing 

Well I heard from fellow hikers  out on trail that there are blizzards up there and they are bailing  so …..

I have booked another day  in town.

Omg just had email office they have found a box .

Not sure which one . But I’ll go grab it tomorrow . Excited !!

So now tv beer and chill.

Mileage  still zero

DAY 13 Heading to Silver City

Well it was a little blowy last night. But I think I slept well.
I had set my alarm for 4.45 but silenced it then lay there for a while but I had to get up, I let the air our of my mattress and slowly packed up. I was in trail by 5.30 and set off along the river bank to water after about an hour I spied the cattle trough.

I bottled up and headed on eventually the river bed became dust .I crossed over the cattle grid and headed to the main road. It was a long winding road passing by several very smart ranches..
At the road where several boxes left by a church group. i dumped my cow water for fresh then headed out to walk the 13 miles to Silver city. Luckily there was a dust road besides it keeping me safe from the traffic. As in began to walk the wind got up and typically it was in my face.
I guess it helps keep it cool ,but it just made my nose run great .
I pushed on passing a dead and decaying horse nice. Eventually my foot path ran out so I crossed over the road and continued my yomp
Afte several hours I thought why am I carrying so much water. So stopped and dumped 2 litres. Well thats much better .
After another two hours I noticed a pickup pull up on the other side of the road.  As I got nearer I noticed it was Tim. I crossed over are you going to give me lift in ?
Do you want lift in?
Yes…no not really.
He handed me a Gatorade omg how good was that, it was ice cold so I couldn’t neck it. We chatted a while as I drank my  drink.

Okay back to the trail sorry road . I pushed on and the sun reappeared.  Wow its amazing how quickly the sun can heat the tarmac,roasting my feet.
The hours slowly passed but I was no closer to silver city until… I reached the sign , but it was still a few miles until I reached town.

I found the hikers hostel but it was rammed and so no vacancies, so I headed down town. Next hotel was also full, fuck fuck. okay the next one had vacancies but was very expensive… and they only had room for tonight and I wanted two nights, dam it okay I will take it.
Fuck, fuck, fuck my credit card is declined I think the chip has just failed.
Luckily I had a back up credit card, but it was stored safely at the bottom of my pack so every thing came out as i frantically searched for it , getting more embarrassed. Finally I managed to pay and at last entered room, dumped my kit, stripped off and stepped straight into the shower.
Wow that was so good.
Once dried I called the credit card company, They were worse than useless so not impressed
So maybe I will get a call back in the middle of the night….Maybe.
I put my uk sim into my back up phone and headed out to find ATM, I retried my card, the pin worked  but then funds were refused. Bollocks . So I withdrew money on my spare card.
This is not going to plan, but I have money so now food.
I found a place called “Little toad crew brewery”  so several beers and a Mexican Ruben’s 

Fed and watered i headed back to watch telly and upload videos, on the way back i popped into the “Palace Hotel to see if they had any rooms for tomorrow? Sadly not but he was really helpful, he showed me that the hotel I am staying in is now showing vacancies for tomorrow. He also gave me names of several other hotel’s what a great bloke.
I raced back to my hotel and managed to book another room tomorrow, its a different room but who cares its a room.
On the way to the lift I bumped into Rock & her friend

Milage.  17 phew

Day 12 leaving Buro

I had set my alarm to 4.45. But I began to hear noises far earlier, when I stuck my head out the gang had gone omg that is really really early. 
I let the air out of my mattress and began the task of waking up. I had slept well but was still tired.
As last I was ready  I walked the distance to the club house used the facilities, hoisted up my pack switched on my head torch and  headed out.
Omg I don’t know what was wrong with me but I was puffing and panting and wheezing. Fuck come on snail. I slowly made it out of the complex and back onto the dirt road. It was still pitch dark but again the stars looked amazing. I hadn’t gone far  but checked my app to to be sure ….
To my utter shock guthooks had decided to go blank on me again fuck fuck really I spent all yesterday trying to  fix it and it was working but no not today . I made my way up the road hoping that it was the right one.
At last a Cdt marker appeared ,Thank fuck i said. and  pushed on down the trail and my legs were working. The trail appeared easy to follow and I felt I was doing great. As the day progressed I passed several tents the occupants we’re just rising.
Morning i said as i passed by and continued on the trail. 
The trail was really nice just how I like it. I pushed on until i came to my first gate . Nearby was another tent.
Ipassed through the gate and pushed on, It was  going to be  a long day, 20 miles to water. I wasn’t sure if I could do that yet ?
But it was still cool  as the sun was yet to rise and I felt good . 

The trail and the miles passed by followed by several hikers, not hard to do lol. Then I came to a  yet more climbs which of course were steep and long, by now i was hot. At the next crossing I stopped and removed my outer shirt (it was cold this morning).
That’s better I pushed on until  9am and took my break. I took off my shoes dressed any wounds,ate some snacks before heading back to the trail. 
I went to open the next gate but  it was so tight, Luckily a German hiker appeared , her name was  bbq chicken. We opened and closed the gate together then i hiked on . The sun was now  hot at 78  phew and it was uphill for a while

The next section was littered with felled trees. I wondered why? maybe not a proper species ?
In the background I could heat chain saws so they must be still at it.
I then came to a large bottle of water, great I drank a few Swigs as it was cold.
AT the next road I came across the tree fellers. I asked why ?
One of the guys said these trees drink too much water so the others
The trail now had become a mystery  which way do I ? It took me a while until I found it . But the trail was messy and of course up and the sun was now trying to melt me .
Okay i will push on until 1 pm, when i had completed my my last climb I was pleased to see Shoes and co sat at the top. 
I dropped my pack  and relaxed. I told shoes about my phone and guthooks again . He was also amazed. 
While I had the time I deleted the app yet again and as i had service I was able to downloaded a fresh install and this time it actually worked.  Whoop.
Shoes was carrying far too much water so he gave me a a litre. 
They moved off it was 9.6 to water. Again I wasn’t sure if I had 9.6 in me but set off after them.
It was still melting out there  98. So I stopped and rigged up my brolly for a little extra shade  but it was still far too hot.

I pushed until 4 pm before I needed another break still 6 miles to go ..NO
Okay back to the trail but at the next road junction I took a wrong turn, Luckily there was a water  cache. Bloody great. That gives me options. 
The trail marched down a dirt track before switching to a river bed. Another favourite as its just sand crap to walk through. I marched on for several hours I would have put up my tent but there was  no where

The time ticked by. Then I spied a place. It would be a  compromise  but in done.
I threw up my tent then began to cook I made a cup of tea and a cup of hot chocolate. Then cooked couscous.  But the mix made far too much and as I haven’t yet got my trail  hunger I ended up tossing about half
As treat I had another hot chocolate  in bed.

Mileage  20.6 whoop.

Highest ever. But it felt like Mileage 20.6

DAY 10 100 MILES

April 23rd 2022

The alarm went off at 4.30. I silenced it but then woke in a panic at 6 am, it was a cold morning as I undid the stopper from my airbed. I seemed to be getting ready in slow motion, eventually I was l packed by 6.45 and on trail.
I noticed another hiker in front of me, but he was soon out of sight, I tried to push on but nothing seemed to be working this morning, I blamed it on the cold.
I shuffled on down the trail , annoyingly the sun was in my eyes so couldn’t really see where I was going. But the trail was really nice , maybe I should have gone on last night I muttered to my self. 
In the distance I could see a farm house but as I got nearer the trail took a tight right and started to climb my eyes still squinting into the sun.
Then, there it was there marked with rocks in the sand.100 miles 
Whoop I known its only one of many  but  it does lift the spirits. 

I pushed on climbing, climbing at once the scenery began to change. Trees appeared with shade  something I had really missed. I wanted to stand under each and every one of them, but miles need to be walked.
I kept on following the trail through numerous gates and sandy tracks, at 9am I decided to take a break. Scoffed a packet of spam, some prunes and a packet of gummi  bears. It seemed to give me the pick up I needed my legs now appeared to be working and then a trail appeared ,a proper winding trail wow at last. I sped up ,relishing this new trail or how I think the trail should be.
The straights were great  but they downs were scary as they were covered with marble like rocks that want to throw me to the ground.
After the decent I was in woodland with the amazing smells of cedar that I really love. The trail meandered on its way although I was struggling with the climbs but excelled on the straights. After  several hours of this I emerged at a trailhead. By the trail was a rock with a message from a trail angel with water. wow. I sat there for a minutes then she appeared in her white van. 

We introduced each other. Go sit down there snail grab a soda and chill.
I did as I was told , she was nipping to trail days but would be back. I topped up my water then opened a can of lemonade. OMG the taste. I could have drunk more but this was great .I chilled for a few more minutes before crushing my can and heading out. 4.4miles to the next water, but my far out app (guthooks) was misbehaving it would tell me the mileage but nothing more so really really useful. Maybe it needs reinstalling but out in the wilds not a chance. Fuck …
I headed on water 4.4 miles I can do that as the trail was being kind but I was still tired. I’m always tired. I pushed on climbing and descending then climbing again, at last I came to the road and headed left.
At last I could see it as I got closer I noticed two hikers there, To my amazement it was Dr Tom and Hawkeye.  OMG. I didn’t think I’d see you two again 
We caught up on gossip before they headed out as they had been there a while. 
I dropped my pack and had a long lunch before topping up on water from the cow trough. Yummy.
The boys were going to do a few more miles to get into the resort tomorrow. Okay I’ll try and match that. But after lunch I was sluggish and my pace was a plod but the miles were falling. I wanted to get to mile 115. 
I pushed and pushed arriving at another park and there was a cache of water. I loaded up then carried on typically the trail winded up a very steep hill and now where to put a tent . I had ,had enough when I noticed a hiker behind the rock was shoes etc. They were cowboy camping so after tea oh well ill give it a go .

DAY 9 leaving Lordsburg

April 22nd 2022

I don’t think I really slept, maybe the odd doze but was awake at 3.30 at 4 I got up for a wee and started to pack up. I wasn’t too sure how cold it was outside do I need another layer ?
Finally I marched out into the cool morning air. As I passed reception two other hikers were discussing the shuttle and they were both wrong. I’m heading out I said shall I show you where it is ?
We walked and talked this fellow hiker had attempted it before but failed at Ghost ranch so was out to try again. I left him at the post office and carried on annoyed there was no signage to the trail.
Woof woof woof bloody dog jumped at the fence scaring the crap out of me. Bloody he’ll I exclaimed and carried on walking. As I walked by the busy freight yard the engines were waking up as there was the sound of engines humming and the smell of diesel hung in the air .I walked down under the bridge and began the fun 3 hour road walk back to trail In places it was sketchy as the path disappeared and the road began to get busier, Several hours later and I should almost be here. 

Standing at the fence were my two partners in crime , Dr Tom and Hawkeye.
Hi guys good to see you.
Now you would have thought the start of this trail would have been well marked, but no an orange disc on the wired fence was it , No CDT badge or logo in sight.. very poor
I pushed my bag under the fence then wriggled under. Okay now where is the trail ? Nothing.
We all set off across the field  like we were combing for evidence which i though funny and made me laugh. Kevin got out his GPS ,We are on trail… really.

We marched across, still not a sign in sight.  After an hour I heard voices  it was shoes, Ducky, Blackout and chameleon.
They called us over to were a gate stood, once together we set off as snake searching for signs., eventually they began to appear and we began to up our pace until it was time to stop for a break. 
Once back on trail we were still keeping a good pace maybe a little fast for me, but I was hanging on until the next break. The four moved off and seemed to up their pace , much faster than us old guys, Blink and they were out of sight.
Once again I began to play hunt the sign as well playing leapfrog with Dr Tom and Hawkeye .
We were going well until we realised that we were off trail and by a lot, Its so easy with the numerous cow paths to head off into nowhere . We bushwhacked back to where we thought it was and managed to intercept back to the trail and then stuck to for most of the morning.
The sun had now began to heat up so I began look for shade, there that will do me, Dr Tom and Hawkeye spotted another bush to hide under .
I took off my shoes and socks and began to relax, I must have dozed off as when I checked my watch it was soon 4.30. A few rude words were said as I emerged for my green canopy. Bugger should have left ages ago. As I pushed on as the wind grew more fierce and in the distance behind me I saw Lordsburg vanish in a cloud of dust as the sandstorm hit. The whole town had vanished .

I plodded on but felt tired even though I had slept for several hours under my tree. The wind was now pulling and pushing me in all the wrong directions. As I passed another dip I noticed the remains of a cow poor thing its brutal out here. I was getting near to the well but then terrain turned to sand which I find so difficult to walk on and saps the rest of my strength. Please go away sand as when your tired this is not what you want. At last I could see the tower of the old windmill. Whoop I said to myself.
When I arrived it was deserted as all my hikers chums probably left several hours ago.
I surveyed the green water topped with an array of insects. Yummy. I filled my empty water bottles and then began to filter the water.
I couldn’t make up my mind what to do? I should have cooked here and hiked on but, I decided to walk 20 mins and then camp , as soon as I tried to put up my tent then the wind arrived with different ideas.

At last the wind died down enough to pitch it, but as I crawled inside I had doubts. I should have gone on
Oh well there is always tomorrow, but I’m annoyed I don’t yet seem to be able to push the miles arrh .

Mileage 9


I was awake  before 2am dozing how light does it need to before I can hike?
At 4am I pulled the stopper on my Exped mattress, I Iove the sound of the roar of air escaping.
I unzipped my tent door and peered  out in the darkness. In the distance you could see the lights of Lordsburg twinkling, not long now snail I said.
I began to pack up and was almost finished when a beam of light came out of the darkness.
I introduced myself, this guy had hiked this trail twice. Omg! and was able to give me some great tips then he was gone.
I finished my packing, put on my headtorch, slung on my pack. I must admit to feeling a little worried about navigation in the dark considering I have got lost in daylight ha ha.
I set off and found it easier to see the trail with my light off thank you moon as my light didn’t seem that powerful maybe new batteries are required.?
I was doing well and was soon approaching the exciting prospect of cow water. 
I put down my pack  and took my two empty bottles to the cow trough. The water was not that bad, a few floaters but fairly clear. I submerged my bottles one at a time before popping in a bleach tab to sterilise the water. Once done I slung up my pack and began to search for the trail.
There was one tent still here the others having long gone.
I located the trail and set off, the first part was littered with rock which I struggle with and my earlier pace now slowed . 

It was over cast today with a great breeze so perfect for hiking . I came to my first fence crossing of the day. I wasn’t able to step over this one so pack off  before rolling beneath the wire before grabbing my pack.
I took 5 minutes before heading off , I was making such a good pace that I missed a water source. Dam, but I have enough.
I took my first real climb, once up there were great views so took another break, as I was chilling “Zero” came by, we said our hellos then he was gone.
I removed my two bottles and added a good squeeze of Milo into each bottle. Milo is a electrolyte, It’s also to disguises the taste of the bleach from earlier. I transferred the contents to my bladder repacked and I was off.
As I passed  another tree  I noticed my two colleagues Hawkeye  and Dr Tom resting we caught up on pleasantries, before joining them.
We had walked for another hour until I needed another break and there was the perfect  tree. We sat here for about  30 min. But the miles do not walk themselves, so time to go.
We hadn’t gone far when a lady rancher appeared on her quad/ gator she was missing 2 cows
We said we saw two down by the tree, we chatted a while before she zoomed off.
Our next target was another water tank, We soon we arrived and there was shade and the water was good. As we relaxed a stream of other hikers appeared ,grabbed water and left.
The Boys decided to leave, I stayed a little longer before setting off after them.
I appeared to have a great pace as I crunched the miles . 
“Snail, Snail ” It was Hawkeye and Dr Tom who had found a great tree with massive shade.
Now I should have stopped and joined them but as I had pace  and wanted the miles.
I pushed on thinking shade would arrive, but it never did and it was getting hotter, but I still had great pace so pushed on. I frantically began searching for shade ,nothing maybe over this hill ? nothing.
I soon met a Sobo. Any shade I asked.
“Sadly not, but water is in a mile.!
Wow I had pushed miles, but now I really wanted shade.
The cache soon came into view and as usual no shade. I sat beside the box debating my options . Which turned into several hours . Eventually Hawkeye and Dr Tom arrived.  

Water Cache

They filled up on water and then decided they wanted 3 more miles as it was still early
I watched them go . I was just about to leave when Cal arrived he’s one of the CDT shuttle drivers who was checking on the water and restocking. He was so chatty it took a while to leave.
It was cool as the wind had now got up I wanted 2 more miles if possible to make an easy walk to Town although typically this section seemed to have many climbs, I was hoping for flat. I pushed on as the wind grew more fierce , i need a flat spot a sheltered flat spot . After several more climbs I came to a sheltered river bed maybe that  will do! But as I explored it, it was still too windy hopefully it will die down I hope. I laid out my tent flat and will pitch when the wind dies.
I had a banging headache, perhaps too much sun so put on a brew then cooked some dinner although I am still struggling to eat maybe the heat.
Dinner was tasty and the wind had now died down to enable me to put up my tent. But it was still too hot to get inside but was cooling

mileage 15

DAY 3 More brutality

April 16th 2022

I was up fairly early and soon packed. Okay snail to the water source.
I headed off thinking I could cut across and join the trail MISTAKE no 3 ..I ended up walking into a figure of 8 and getting my legs slashed up again.
At last I found the trail and pushed on I had probably lost an hour maybe more, why didn’t I just walk down the road. At last the next water cache came into view, I quickly dropped my pack, signed the register and began to top up my water.

Water Cache

Once done I set out again and into the brutal furnace of this section, I pushed on until 4pm arrived ,today have not been able to get any pace as my hip is hurting  which is annoying.
It was at least 6.5 miles to the next cache and i was struggling, and my water was getting  low. I began to get doubts of my abilities.  I have completed 2 thru hikes but I’m struggling with this part of the cdt.
The temperatures are up in the 100’s and its only 4 pm . At last some shade appeared so I dropped my pack and hid from the sun. No way can I do 6 more miles so I think I will camp and try to get there early in the morning.

My Hiding spot

I sat there feeling sorry for myself until a Sobo came by.
He told me that there was a cache under a tree in 3 miles, Perhaps wait a few hours and  you could make that” he said.
Yes I can do that , so around 6pm I headed out, It was still hot  but there was  at least some shade , i plodded on until at last in the distance I could see a tree.
Come on snail you have got this .
At last  i was here and beneath the tree sat 6 water containers  2 were still full whoop. I quickly threw up my tent, put on a brew and then cooked dinner. It was getting dark as I crawled into my bed.
Okay, so to hike this section you need to get up early go as far as you can before you melt, find shelter, Stay there eat dinner hike out around

That seemed to be a tough day hopefully my days are going to get better

Mileage 14

DAY 2 into hell

15th April 2022
I woke at 5am and stripped down, stepping on trail by 7am but I need to get slicker at packing up.

The morning was delightfully cool and the trail really nice to walk on although it will not be long until the sun rises, luckily I was able to walk in the shade. I came to an amazing tree if I hadn’t had my silly diversion I could have made it here.

Amazing Tree

As I went around the next corner I ran into my first cow, almost surreal well it made me laugh.
At last the cache came into view, I quickly dropped my pack, signed the register and began to top up my bottles putting in some Nunn a type of electrolyte. 
I headed out with another 5 litres taking the road as the shuttle drivers had suggested as the official part of the trail is in need of some attention !!.
Another hiker I met heading south was carrying 6 Litres and another hiker named CC was carrying 7 Litres wow that’s heavy.
It was 10.30 and already HOT,I was making good  pace until then I hit the wall and needed shelter, I spotted a place and dove in, putting down my Tyvek and hiding from the sun. I stayed here for 30 minutes until the sun began to steal my shade . As I packed up to leave, disaster I must have put my pack on my bite valve as my bladder was empty OMG. FUCK FUCK.
I heard a engine luckily it was Tim on his way back, luckily i was able to flag him down. Tim was able to give me 2 litres, then reminded me that there was water in 4 miles. 
As I pushed on down the road it was roasting, my feet felt like they were cooking from the heat of the ground so needed to stop to let them cool. The two guys I started with then appeared Hawkeye and Dr Tom (Kevin). I shadowed  them for several miles as they appeared to have similar pace to me .
This is Kevin’s first attempt at a thruhike and I’m impressed. although he’s doing it for a bet i think the bet was to complete 500 miles although it could be more !!
When another shuttle driver passed  I asked again about water.
Its about 1.8 to well water and 4 to the cache.
Okay well water will do me , as I approached the cows sped off in all directions. The water was a large tank fed by a solar pump , inside the tank was thick hose that was flowing great water.
I had, had enough for today so thought I’d put up my tent. MISTAKE no 2 Its just far too hot.

So I joined my fellow hikers under the tree, they had their feet soaking in the cattle trough so I did the same omg Joy.. After a while they left to crush a few more miles and in hindsight I should have done the same!. But no , I sat by the tank under the shade but I was still too hot and so began to get annoyed  with myself. I am learning lessons here, and quickly. Once it was cool enough I went straight to bed , although I am not really on any shedule i feel that I need to be doing bigger miles .

mileage 12  oh dear!