We moved over to New Mexico yesterday to a dispersed camping area in the Gila National Forest. The Continental Divide Trail runs right through here and we embarked on a short hike along part of the trail today. The terrain is soooo very different from the high-desert grassland in Arizona!! We have scrub oak, alligator juniper and pinyon pine surrounding our campsite. The diversity of plant material along the trail was remarkable compared to our previous location!
The CDT was very well marked and we noticed some folks had left snacks for thru-hikers and water at the trailheads. We came upon one young gentleman who was a section hiker – doing most of the sections in New Mexico. He had started at the Mexican border and was hiking north. It was fun to talk with him. He was definitely in the mood to converse and tell his story. He was of Puerto Rican descent from New York City and remarked that the Border Control police kept bothering him since he started from the border. He was baffled by this to an extent – why they would mistake him for Mexican! He recounted to us some very serious reasons why he was out hiking on his own at this point in time and we listened without judgement. He chose nature and solitude to work through some trying times and, in many ways, I think it is just what he needs. He shared with us some of his musings along the way as well. It was interesting to hear what his thought processes were as he hiked. We wished him luck in his journey as we parted. I noticed he was carrying a SPOT GPS tracking device and told him I was glad he was carrying it. Good that he was keeping people notified of his location!! He gave us his trail name and the name of a YouTube channel he was going to post. I’m curious to look this up at some point and see how he made out on the rest of his hike.
Images along the Trail: