DAY 56 Heading to Lake city  day 6 (let’s climb more mountains)

8th June

I really wanted to get up early but it was too bloody cold.
But at 6 am I pulled the plug on my mattress; I was packed rather quickly bonus point,
I woofed two packets of instant oats  and drained a mug of hot chocolate.
I was on trail by 6.30, good effort snail
I knew I had a climb first thing and oh what a climb I chugged up at my amazing sloth (snail) like speed It was almost two hrs until I reached the top and was able to get my breath back.
Once up I took off a layer before spraying myself with sunscreen.
Okay lets go, I knew it was going to be a climbing day after sneaking a peek at the Profile.
(Don’t do this as its just depressing ……)
So, I knew it would not be long until my next one such fun. I don’t know why but I am having to keep taking breaks as my lungs just can’t cope with these altitudes and so I am loosing valuable time and miles.
I slowly chugged up mountain number two and yet again such amazing views, but it was a false summit so I had to keep on climbing, luckily the next part was not too steep.
Once at the top I could see several roads in the distance, wow its obvious that we are not going that way as it would be far too simple lol.
I began to head down crossing several snow chutes… mmm haven’t done any of these for a few days.
when I reached the ground I could see that I was at a trail head with a board and sign in register. I signed my name then continued on and great, two wide creeks that i need to cross, so wet feet time followed by yet another steep climb out of the valley
This was a bit crappy as it was loose dirt shale, so not brilliant to climb on, eventually it evened out and a trail reappeared  but vanished high into the mountains.
As I continued on, I could see a lodge or yurt to my left, I believe you can stay here but as it was a fair way off, I didn’t visit but just kept on climbing.
As I reached the summit there was the obligatory signpost except this one was different as this is where the CDT and the Colorado trail now share the same space. I pushed on and was surprised to be encountering more and more snow, nothing really to bother about more of an annoyance as if you   walked around rather than over the mud was so slippery that it wanted to through you to the floor or worse it wanted one of your shoes.
I began to cross through several meadows, again with great views, before climbing through a very rocky section that resembled the moon.
okay break time, I stopped glugged some water and scoffed a Mars bar.
Okay the next part should be flat so I should be able to make up some time, except where there was once snow there was now mud It didn’t look like mud until you tried walking through it and it was a trap.
I tried walking around but every now and then I would sink…. At last, this ended and I was on solid ground* and able to make good progress, climbing a little then climbing some more, the landscape was forever changing ,there were wild flowers all around as I began to drop into a valley
As I made my way up a snow filled pass, I spotted another hiker in the distance as I hadn’t seen anyone for several days it was good to be able to say hi. He was a day hiker but still good to have the conversation.
In the distance were 3 large hills and I guessed which one I was going up and I was right it was the steepest and highest . Thankfully there were on switchbacks so not that steep, although they still took some effort to climb.
At last I was up but this connected with another , so I had to walk around its edge although I like this type of trail and eventually I was at the top and level .
I decided at the next water I would stop for lunch.. I dropped my pack laid out my ground sheet, got out my food bag then went to get water from the run off… The water wasn’t good as it looked almost grey as it contained sediment.
I tried nearer to the ice, but it was the same bugger oh well I have enough.
I sat down took off my shoes and sock and relaxed but i was anxious and need those miles. so was soon walking again ,as I crossed over another saddle I could see a dirt road snaking away and up in both directions
The nearer I got I could see ATV or quad bikes moving upwards, by the time I had arrived they were long gone.
The Trail now follows this road for about a mile, as i passed another stream I grabbed a bottle as the water was clear here. I had just hoisted my pack when the train of ATVs came back, the occupants all waved but no soda or beer lol.
I walked down the road before turning left and climbing as I did, I noticed two hikers in the distance.  I pushed on climbing then dropping down but still appearing to climb.
Eventually the two hikers caught me. We joked a bout the amount of climbing that we had done today and hoped there would be no more haha

I let them go and followed after. Omg I watched them climb and climb, I followed more slowly this first climb had switch backs but was still high.
The climbing went on for the rest of the day but at least there were no scratchy bushes today how amazing is that… Oh the day hiker I met called it Willow !!
I was now tiring, although wished I could hike faster. I was also concerned that looking forward there didn’t appear to be any suitable camp spots. This may be a compromise Snailtrainer.
I put my tent behind my favourite bushes and crossed my Fingers
I cooked Chili pasta mac with meat (mountain house) my Fav

Then an early night

Mileage 17   Pleased with that,


DAY 51 Heading yo Lake city day 2 ( I love climbing)

June 3rd 2022

I slept really well and was up  by 5.30 and ready to go, just drinking my tea.
But then decided to track myself on my watch after many minutes I gave up and used my phone so all the faffing wasted almost an hour.
Once on trail it imeaditly began to climb so I was pleased that I stopped when I did.
I spent the whole morning climbing  with a few blow downs  just for fun,  eventually I was up and as usual, Wow what amazing views all around.
Then it was time to going down,  I exited by a great lake but was soon back to climbing ,at last it evened out and it was a nice trail again.
I came to another great lake, here were several signposts but they were so weathered you were  unable to read them. 

I checked my app I was on the correct path, as I walked around the lake  the trail became very badly over grown with these bushes that scratch you and I had to force my way through oh and i hike in shorts !
Once through the trail began to climb again, I think its going to be like this all day  haha.. Once  up the next climb i was greeted with more amazing  views. I began to head through several meadows  following the cairns before it dropped down and followed the contours of the mountains. I like this section of trail but the path was littered with rocks so I was unable to go too fast.

It was approaching lunch so as soon as a suitable spot appeared i stopped i sat in the and took of my shoes and socks and relaxed. I ate an apple that I had brought out from town. I checked my mileage  I had completed 8 miles that’s good I thought I should be able to do similar this afternoon maybe. ?
Lunch over I set off but this section of trail was littered with blowdowns, F*ck I said maybe I won’t be able to do another 8 miles !
Luckily the trail soon became clear as I exited into wide open  area with a faint line running off in the  distance. That’s my trail, there is another trail called the  Crede cut-off  I thought it would be better marked as I missed it completely, luckily I wasn’t taking  that route 

At the next melt stream I topped up my water as it was a fair way until the next.  Typically I was now climbing again and it was straight up and steep.  Phew, I was puffing and panting. Okay 4.5 miles to next water, that would give me approximately 13 miles today

Once at the top I set of following the trail 4.5 miles ,I can do that as its still so early, the trail meandered over  several small hills. Nothing scary nothing to worry me until. OMG NO NO .why !!
The trail then headed up a massive mountain, followed the trail as it switch backed left and right climbing higher and higher.  I can’t do that I said to myself, but I knew I had to. It looked high very high and snow topped it. I chugged on having to stop every 10 minutes to get my breath. But the top still looked out of reach. I kept climbing but the top appeared to stay where  it  was. The higher I got the more uncomfortable I got. Maybe I am too cautious but I do not really like this type of climb. The trail bed was fairly narrow and not that secure, at last I was getting there. High above me sat huge blocks of snow waiting for an avalanche. Don’t know why I’m thinking this. 
Two switch backs to go, I am up phew. I sat straight down on a rock leaving my pack on.
Wow such amazing views as I could see all around, especially the line of the trail far below me.. 
Okay down.  Thank god.
The gradient wasn’t too steep heading down although it was very narrow in places, so slow is safe and safe is slow. 
At last I was able to speed up a bit but then instead of descending I began to climb following more cairns . Okay I need water and I would like to camp  …maybe.!
I came to several signs, but again they were so weathered that I could not read them, I choose the  left option, walked a yard then rechecked my app. Whoop yes I am  on trail , okay next water I  see I will grab. I could see for miles below me hopefully I will shortly find a tent spot ,as i continued around the edge of the mountain I will grab water soon.
At last water ,I dropped my pack and took a bottle as the water appeared clean and Ice cold I chugged half a bottle before flavouring the rest
Omg my pack weighed a ton, I checked my app, and  looked at the weigh up my options. 

Okay 1 guy says excellent  water  and camping after the alternate . I headed  down the trail  lugging extra water,. Just in case..
I quickly found a spot and soon had my tent up. 

As i began to cook dinner , the wind arrived , hopefully it will die down !
I cooked a ‘Breakfast skillet’ for dinner a freeze dried meal, that was very tasty.
Okay teas brewing.
That’s it  NIGHT 

Mileage  14.9  almost  15

DAY 7 Lordsburg

April 20th 2022

I slept really well, waking at 6.30. I leisurely  packed up knowing I would soon be in town.
Wow there were still several more hills to climb. Come on body wake up.
At last I got into my stride and after an hour I could see Lordsburg hurrah. 
It took almost another hour until I arrived at the  trailhead,
I exited out onto the road and began to walk to town, It was nice to see that almost every car that passed waved.
At last I could see the Ecolodge, I walked in and asked if I could leave my pack as check in is 3pm.
Okay Kranberries, I crossed over the road and went in. I could see Hawkeye & Dr Tom so joined them.
I asked for a glass of ice water and a orange juice.
I quickly drained both and got refilled before ordering eggs bacon and hash browns.

Real ,food so tasty. I did several more rounds of  orange juice and iced water before paying the bill.
“Nature” joined us she started the same day but had come down with pneumonia and had to be pulled out. She’s currently recovering here I hope she’s able to be back on trail shortly.
I walked back to the hotel and there were a dozen hikers in the lobby. Rocks was there and handed me a beer also Ducky, shoes and several others.
I sat here running down the clock when 2 other hikers appeared who I had met earlier, they invited me to join them for lunch. I had nachos and very hot salsa tasty, followed by a strawberry milk shake that was divine. Four others hikers joined us a German couple and a Czech couple, her name was Master chef and her man. The other hiker ordered a steak sandwich but he could only eat half after grazing on the salad bar and so offered it to me. Omg  so tender and tasty. 
At last I could get into my room , Once in I jumped into the shower which felt oh so good.
I then exploded my pack. I need to dump a few things and sort though what I need.
So now time to catch up with this and will take a zero tomorrow 

Night all 

Milage 5.1


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


April 18th 2022
The guys had decided to wake at 5 am to be on trail by 6 ,that’s seems a good idea I will do the same.
I had tried to keep my tent tidy so as soon as the alarm went off I was ready and probably did my fastest  pack. I was ready and headed out, see you guys up trail I said and marched out.
I like this early start and was soon crushing miles, It was 7miles to the next water and the miles appeared to be flying by. This is going well, as I hiked on the landscape continued to change and with the sun not quite up yet I was happy.
I pushed on until I began to tire as the heat intensified. A TREE, I made my way over and dropped my pack , I was dozing when Dr Tom and Hawkeye appeared.
Room for two more they asked.?
We sat here for about an hour, discussing the trail ahead, water was in another 7 miles a cattle trough!, but then there was shade at around 2 miles.
We eventually set off but after another hour i was on fire, I noticed a culvert and l went for shade
I seem to require more time to recover than my two friends so continued to sit in the shade as they headed off for the tree and more shade.  It was just too hot for me so I stayed put for another 3 hrs.
( again possibly too long ) , But the miles need to be walked, at six I got ready and decided to try and fix my umbrella to my pack, Yes success. 

Proud I walked out and in the wrong directions. FUCK Fuck.
I back tracked and headed the right way, eventually reaching the shade tree. As i approached it i came upon numerous hikers leaving. I recognised Rocks who I had met before.
She said her and about a dozen others had been sheltering at this tree since 12. This seems the way to do this trail, I set off after them but just didn’t have the pace.
The trail began to cross several meadows through lots of tall grass, as I was nearing the end of one  I heard the unmistakable sound of a rattle snake OMG. I edged around the sound unable to see the snake.
I crossed several more of these  meadows when I heard the second rattle I had, had enough.
At the edge of the field was a a fenced area.  Yup that will do me I dropped my pack and set up.
I had enough water to get to the cattle trough in the morning and enough to make a cup of tea.
I put on my brew looking forward to a warm drink, I tidied  up and began to get into bed then knocked over my tea.

Why  …..

Mileage 15

DAY 4 Pushing on

April 17th 2022

I slept well at the tree apart from the moon being so bright I need some eye pads lol.
I was awake around four but I haven’t mastered the quick get away yet.
I was eventually back on trail by 7.30, It was about 5 miles to the water tank. I started off well and it didn’t seem long until I arrived in the distance was Dr Tom and Hawkeye.
I pushed on with a lovely breeze which was so welcome , but as the trail began to climb and my engine began to struggle.
In the distance I could see a tree and on this trail  shade is what you desire, as I approached i could see Dr Tom and Hawkeye. 

Hey guys great to see you both again
I sat  for 30 min before heading  back out into the sun which now was baking , it’s just relentless.
It was several hours later that the next cache appeared, I found some shade and crashed, from this spot you can ring the local shop and they will pick you up and take you to Hiawassee for a cold soda and more….
But no, I pushed on trying to get to the next water container, after another hour I had to crash again as this heat is just a killer, It just wipes me out. I took 30 mins before pushing on but I was beginning to struggle. I really wanted to stop and throw up my tent but I cant as I would cook alive. 
Eventually I could see a number of GREEN trees, could that be it? But ahead I could see the boys continuing on. F*ck I said to no-one  and set off after them although my feet felt like lead.

I really had, had enough but then I could see something shinny ahead, Its the water tower, whoop.
It was up hill and the sun roasting, as I got nearer there appeared a stream of water flowing from the top of the tower . .Normally you have to climb a shaky ladder to get water from the top hatch but today it was flowing out from the overflow
“Stick your head under snail” said Hawkeye.
I did as I was told, wow fantastic, I stripped off washed my stinky shirt and socks then hung them on a fence to dry. I found a spot to camp although it was still too hot to put it up .
We all sat around in the  shade before putting up our tents. I cooked dinner but could only eat half as my hiker hunger is yet to kick in ,but my cup of tea  certainly hit the spot . 

Night all 15 miles most so far but I’m destroyed 

Mileage 15

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!