CDT Update Links

The Plot Thickens


Those who followed my 2016 attempt to hike the CDT might remember that I left the trail in Grants, New Mexico. (I hitched the 35 mile road walk into Grants due to an injury.) This year I hiked into Grants on Monday, May 29th, completing the road walk and was feeling great! I took a zero day (no hiking) on Tuesday, May 30th, and hiked out on Wednesday, May 31 with Fat Albert. By the end of the day, my left shin was aching and by noon the following day, after climbing and descending Mt. Taylor, the pain was getting worse and I knew that the further I walked, the more damage I was doing and the longer it would take to heal.


I was sitting at a dirt road intersection with the CDT considering my options when Fat Albert arrived. It was a 24 mile walk back to the Mt. Taylor trail head on highway 547 to Grants and a six mile road walk on the highway if I couldn't get a hitch. (There is a state prison in the area and road signs warning drivers not to pick up hitch hikers.)  I had no cell service, but Fat Albert had enough to text. We had the name and cell number of a trail angel in Grants so Fat Albert contacted her to see if we could get someone to pick me up. He made it clear it wasn't an emergency, but there was plenty that wasn't clear, including our exact location and whose jurisdiction it was to "rescue me." The forest service, fire department, and Sheriff  were not exactly excited about mounting a rescue, especially since there was a severe thunder storm, including rain and hail passing through the area.
During the worst of the storm, Fat Albert set up his tent and I sat inside along with him listening to the hail and thunder. Around 4pm, I set up my own tent thinking that my rescue might be delayed, and even considered the possibility that I might have to hike a few miles the following day to get better cell service so I could assist in the process of locating me. At 5:30 I announced I was hungry and was going to cook dinner. Fat Albert joking said, "As soon as you make dinner, the rescue team will arrive." And, of course, he was right! Five minutes after pouring the hot water on my dehydrated meal, a Fire Marshal arrived and two minutes later...the Sheriff arrived! I hobbled around packing up my tent and said goodbye to Fat Albert and Horst (a hiker from Germany) and rode off into the sunset with the Fire Marshal who announced on his radio that the rescue was complete and he was returning to Grants with one "victim."

After checking into a cheap motel, I called the trail angel to confirm my rescue and thank her for her help. I ate dinner at Denny's (I left the re-hydrated meal for Horst), filled up a quart ziplock to use as an ice pack, and called Eva with the bad news. After a good night's rest I considered my options...I was 99% sure I had shin splints (to be confirmed by my doctor soon), so I decided to come home to rest and recover. Sitting in a hotel room in Grants for a couple of weeks didn't sound very exciting when I could go home and see Eva! Eva arranged for a flight home on Saturday afternoon, June 3rd from Albuquerque, NM and I hopped on the Greyhound bus to Albuquerque early Saturday morning.


I mentioned in an previous post my father is having some health challenges and the week before my injury, my father was admitted to a live-in care facility that specializes in patients with Alzheimer's disease. It was a blessing to be able to go with my mother for her first visit and see for myself he is receiving excellent care. While I am home, I look forward to visiting him on a regular basis. His dementia results in significant confusion, worry and fear so we are praying for God's comfort and peace.

My plan is to return to the CDT when my shin heals. There is still lots of snow in Colorado, so I'm studying my options...more about that in my next post. Stay tuned for more details. This hike isn't over yet!

Comments

  1. Hi, I am Crystal from the Trujillo Water Cache at Torreon road. I have been following your blog, and was wondering why we hadn't seen a log in for you yet. Sure hope the injury heals well for you, and that you enjoy your time at home. Love your blog, and your insights. :)

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