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PeterS - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2011

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Peter Shaw
City: Rancho Palos Verdes
State: Ca
Country: US
Begins: May 3, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, May 8th, 2011

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 566
Journal Visits: 60,214
Guestbook Views: 7,376
Guestbook Entrys: 136

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Continental Divide Trail Map

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The BLM Trail Marker

Day 6

Last night we tasted the high life of Lordsburg, a Mexican Restaurant and Tavern. The beer selection wasn't brilliant but they did have Sam Adams in bottles. We weren't too hungry so we just had chips at the bar. The barmaid was from Boston and we had an interesting chat with her as the place was fairly quiet even though they had a DJ - maybe the place livens up real late. But it was a good way of seeing the lifestyle of a fairly remote NM town and spending a little to help their economy which seems to exist on I-10 freeway traffic mostly stopping overnight. The motel was virtually empty all day but the parking lot was close to half full when we got back.

Next morning we had a leisurely breakfast and got packed up. Hurricane was in fine fettle and had recovered well from his bout with heat exhaustion. We left the motel just before 11:00 am and had a four mile road walk before the trail went cross country. For the next six miles it was more of the same although we were gradually climbing. The trail was quite well marked - I included a picture of one of the trail signs. They are great when you can see them. We were joking that the folks that installed them must have had better eyesight if they were truly within visual range of each other. Many times we couldn't see them until we'd gone way past the previous one. We had a good idea of where the trail went from the map so it wasn't hard to navigate this section.

When we looked back towards Lordsburg we saw a fire had flared up south of the city. Actually it looked to be on the south side of Pyramid Peak which I went around on Saturday morning. Looks like I might have got lucky here. But talking of fires, there is one in the Gila National Forest that has closed the road, a lot of nearby trails and the famous Gila Cliff Dwellings. We are still five days from there so hopefully things will improve - we'll have to weigh our options when we get to Silver City in two or three days.

We both have got very aware of which of the various cacti are the ones to give a wide berth, especially the flat succulent type with the long needle-thin thorns. I'm not sure how it happened but somehow a piece of cactus flipped up onto my leg. I felt a little pin prick and brushed it away. Two steps later there was this stabbing feeling in my thigh just above the knee. There was nothing showing on the outside so I rolled up the pant leg and there, stuck a quarter inch into my leg was this inch or more needle that had come completely through my hiking pants. It also must have had a small barb because it wouldn't come out without quite a bit of force. I didn't think I'd reserved, or for that matter deserved, an ad hoc acupuncture treatment.

Water in this stretch is a challenge so we carried a full load out of Lordsburg. We filled up all the bottles and my pack bladder with ice so we had nice cold water for most of the day. Towards the end of the day we were aiming for what looked like a reliable source when we passed what was described as a usually dry trough. There were loads of cows there and when we got closer we saw why - an overflowing water trough. It was the cleanest water we had seen in a cow trough - no floaters, nothing living in it and certainly none of that green foamy stuff from a couple of days ago. We were only a mile from our goal so we decided to skip this source and rely on the next one. This wasn't quite as clean of a cattle trough but I went investigating and climbed the ladder on the windmill and the storage tank was full of clean water. So we scooped up a full load for both of us.

We went only a short distance before finding a nice flat wash to camp. It was just past a gate so the cows down at the watering trough cannot get to us. I think I annoyed them when I shooed them away so I didn't want them seeking revenge. Hurricane did fine and apart from a little sunburn on the back of his legs no after effects of his little turn. He should be back to fighting weight tomorrow.

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Journal Photo

Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Part Deux

The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more:


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