[cdt-l] Pi is finished

Mateo Jackson msjack01 at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 22 10:09:43 CST 2006

I finished my last section of the CDT in Pie Town of all places on Nov 16th. 
  Nita and Kathy are super trail magicians and really took care of me upon 
my arrival there.  I'm really glad I got to hike with SKittles, PoD, Disco, 
Matti and Trace down to the border, but since I had done so much of the hike 
on my own, it was pretty fitting to finish on my own, especially in such a 
cool trail town where they love me because of my name.

>1. What did you expect before you hiked the CDT?  Did the trail live up to
>your expectations?

>I honestly thought the trail was going to swallow me whole... really rough 
>me up.  The navigation/ route finding and snow was something I'd never 
>really dealt with.  I knew the weather could rough me up too.  I found that 
>navigation isn't so bad... getting lost is kinda fun if I just stay calm 
>and take in everything around me.  Its pretty neat to think about walking 
>x-country and realize very few humans have ever set foot on the same ground 
>you are now standing.  All in all, the actual trail wasn't as difficult as 
>I thought it would be.

>2. Was it harder or easier than you expected?  Why?

>The biggest challenge was overcoming illness on the trail.  I took 10 days 
>off at Chama and actually went home I felt so bad.  I was sick for a good 
>time before that as well and not enjoying the hike. In addition to that, 
>the huge snowstorm in the San Juans in mid-Sept made for some epic hiking 
>conditions.  Those both came out of nowhere and added a lot of spice to the 

>6.  Would you/will you do the CDT again?  What would/will you do

>I'd do sections.  Right now I don't even want to think about hiking the 
>whole thing again.

>7.  Favorite and/or least favorite Trail towns?

>My town experience is based on encounters with just a few people... hotel 
>clerk, postmaster, person I'm hitching with... and I found pretty cool 
>people in every town.  I would avoid Lake City if I went back through 
>there... the "locals" are all Texans and they don't seem to like long 
>haired hikers with no cars. My favorite was Pie Town just because I was 
>there twice and now I know 90% of the town.  I also felt like a local in 
>Creede because I was there so long.

>8.  Good/bad wildlife encounters?

>CDT offered the biggest variety of wildlife of any trail.  I had no 
>negative experiences with any animal I saw.  In Yellowstone NP however, I 
>hung my foodbag from the foodpole in a designated campsite and some rodent 
>got into it in the night.  A ranger I saw the next day said this is the 
>first rodent food heist she'd ever heard of there.

>10.  Any rants or raves?

>I just want to thank the hikers I spent time with on the trail.  They made 
>for a lot of great memories. I especially want to thank Matti for guiding 
>all of us through the really sketchy, snowy, windy, rainy Piegan Pass in 
>Glacier.  Then I also want to thank PoD and Disco for sticking with me 
>while I was sick on the Creede cutoff when I was in a delerium.  Those were 
>both very selfless efforts that helped me a ton.

>11.  Were you lonely or did you enjoy the solitude? Did you have solitude?

>I hiked almost the whole trail alone.  I'd say I hiked about 400 or so 
>miles with other people and 2100 miles alone.  I'm a pretty spacy person 
>and my mind makes good company for itself, so I never had any worries about 
>the solitude.  I did however love every minute I hiked with my friends I 
>met on the trail.  Hiking out of Silver City beside a man with a carved 
>pumpkin over his head is good fun...

>12.  Any words of wisdom for next year's hikers?  Final thoughts??

>My sage advice is don't get sick on the trail... it makes for a much more 
>difficult time.  Final thought: If you can laugh at yourself, you'll 
>probably be okay out there.

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