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Psmurf - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2011

Entry 15 of 15
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Poppa Smurf
City: Green Bay
State: WI
Country: USA
Begins: May 11, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jul 16th, 2011
Start: Country Road 8003
End: Deming
Trip Distance: 18.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,640
Journal Visits: 7,093
Guestbook Views: 389
Guestbook Entrys: 12

Last PLB Location

Continental Divide Trail Map

The route back to Deming

Early rise to beat the heat. Ha. Good luck with that one. Left camp with 2 1/2 qts and resumed my trip back to Deming. Of all things, after only four miles a young rancher stopped and we chatted. He was en route to his ranch "back there". No, he did not have any extra water with him nor was he planning a return to either Hillsboro nor Deming on this day. We part, I move on and use Droid Navigation to double check my road change en route. One has to be accurate when water is so scarce. All road walking. Completed about five miles uphill and was contemplating the water status when of all things, a SUV comes roaring up behind me: a recently retired couple from LA ("we moved here nine months ago") were driving to the dump. What a break. Man, like what are the odds I would meet someone here? They gave me a ride three miles past their original destination, the dump cutoff "to Pete's place" whose access road joined Rt 27. The lady gave me all her ice water...all 1 1/2 qts and he gave me some hard candy, "you could use the sugar". They drop me off and head back west in a cloud of dust. I am seven miles closer to Deming and about 15 miles northwest of Nutt on Rt 27 in remote, hot and dry NM. The plan: keep on walking, use water sparingly. Then, miracle number 2, in less than five minutes a small Cooper sped by and stopped. Judy, a retired geologist from the East coast now residing in Hillsboro, was en route to Deming to meet some friends. "What the hell are you doing here?" she posed and offered me a ride all the way back to Deming. Thank you, Judy. Enjoyed our conversation, your patient geology seminar (she is an expert on sedimentary geology) and the 30 mile hitch. I was in the Deming McDonalds soaking up ice water, soda and a McMuffin breakfast by 1100. Unbelievable: near dehydration at 0830 and back into using all the amenities I take for granted two hours later. May I never take such things for granted ever again.
Enjoyed some wonderful Italian food at Parma's that night with Keith. Tried to accurately update him re: the water sources I used en route.
Over the next days, I picked up and/or arranged for appropriate disposal of most of my New Mexico food boxes and water caches en route. Still have to contact Pie Town, Doc Campbell's and Tom in Grants.
One of the buggiest experiences I had during the whole trip was in Room 145 at the Quality Inn Motel, North Platte, NB. Woke up circa 0400 to obey nature's call and subsequently captured 20 + insects - at least three different species. Placed them in a large, covered Coke cup with an explanatory note on the table. Advised the hotel clerk who assured me that he will "tell maintenance". I would rather camp outside than stay in a room like that.
Made it back to Green Bay, WI on July 20th.
(Some) Lessons learned:
Physical: I was in adequate physical shape to complete the hike. Blisters did develop but were adequately treated. I love the nonadherent pads, moleskin and duct tape. Second skin is/will be part of my first aid kit.
Clothes: The wide brim hat worked well. Long sleeve shirt better for me than short sleeve in sun.
GPS - I still need to improve GPS skills.
Umbrella - nice to have with such strong sun.
Water - Carried 5 qts at times. I drank more with the consistent 100+ temps. Appreciated the Hiker water purifier vs other less weight devises for me. Ley maps did identify current water sites when I hiked.
The Plan: Next time, hike in a cooler season like April, May or October. Solo hiking is OK, too.
Thank you notes to identified supporters.
Work on GPS skills.
Send a donation to the Semper Fi Fund as promised.
Appreciate all those important things I take for granted on a daily basis varying from relationships to ready and available clean, cool water.
Check for more reading on Ft. Cummings.
Donate some trail crew work time on Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail system.
It was worth it.

Entry 15 of 15
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Continental Divide Trail - 2011

Poppa Smurf


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