Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can I Mex? Mex I Can.

The journey is complete. According to, it took 178 days, 13 hours, and 30 minutes. Here's how it ended.

10 minutes after I left the Internet cafe in Silver City on the 23rd, the power went out all over town. I couldn't buy my groceries or even use some of the pay-phones around town. Mysteriously, Dairy Queen still had power, so I hung out there until the power came back on, bought my groceries, and walked out of town on highway 90.

The next day I walked highway and dirt county roads to near Separ, NM. I saw my second rattler (a Green Mojave?) of the trip. On the 25th I passed through Separ, which is actually just Bowlin's Continental Divide Trading Post. Gross. I walked more roads with a little cross-country cacti bushwhacking to near Hachita. I did see some wild horses, but I also got swooped by an enormous bat, and swarmed by 5 Border Patrol trucks. Three drove past me in formation, one pulled a U-turn and focused his lights on me, and the two from behind pulled up to begin interrogating me. Because I'm sure illegals always wear blaze orange with reflect-y stripes for greater night-time visibility.

Finally I reached the "official" terminus of the CDT at noon on the 27th. The last two miles were a cacti-bushwhack, with the trail ending on the inside of the bootheel at the Crazy Cook "monument." (NOBODY thinks "let's go east to go to Mexico," and NO, the actual Continental Divide does not leave the country to the east either, it leaves to the south, just like you'd think.) The only joy I felt here was that this was such an amazing example of the crap of the "official" trail. They'll put a signpost every quarter mile but not dig tread and then expect it to just spontaneously appear, the trail isn't even routed to the monument (it ends a couple hundred yards down a fence-line road), and the "monument" is a crumbling slab of concrete that just happened to already be there to commemorate somebody's death. Also, it was 90+ degrees out and there wasn't a water source in 40+ miles, and when I found one, I got swarmed by fire-ants and a seven-foot long snake tried to crawl in my pack. Then at night I trespassed across a farmer's field that had a large number of rats in it, and got swooped by yet another enormous bat, this time it was loudly screeching to boot.

I reached highway 81, took it south for 12 miles, and reached the border at Antelope Wells this morning (the 28th) at 9:30. Despite the above paragraph, I had a great time the last few days. The desert had some cool scenery, what little traffic there was on the roads gave me plenty of room, the moon was full so I could do lots of easy night-hiking, and the air is totally dry, so I slept under the stars ever since leaving Silver City. Within 10 minutes of finishing my photos of the border, I boarded a Phoenix-bound shuttle and took it to Lordsburg. Then I quickly caught a ride (with free pizza) to Silver City, where I am now. Marcus is flying out on the 30th, and we'll somehow figure out a way to meet up and head west. (Anybody in New Mexico got a POS car they're looking to sell?)

Stay tuned to the blog; I'll report on my road-trip adventure home and answer important questions like "What next?" "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "What's the meaning of life?" and "When the heck do we get to see the photos?"


  1. Congratulations Garret. How will you ever top this? I hope you don't get postpartum depression.

  2. Sarah (PCTR)9:26 AM

    Wow, Garret - amazing! CONGRATULATIONS!! Thanks so much for letting us share in your journey and read about your wild adventure and fabulous accomplishment!

    We're looking forward to seeing you again one of these days, but enjoy the rest of your time away.


  3. Cheers! You and Francis have both made it a banner year for CDT hiking, both physically and vicariously!

  4. Good job Garret. Now, if you really want to impress me, yo-yo it twice in one season.

  5. schnizapp2:37 PM

    AWESOME, dude!

    So you liked Mexico so much you realized you had to walk back there when you got to Canada?

  6. What an amazing trip. Good luck in your future endevours.

  7. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing you soon. I've got a 2-year old football game waiting for you here on tape, so hurry home to claim it -- or it'll be too late to watch it!
    love, your bro, Randy