[Cdt-l] Women on the trail...me too!

hetchhetchyman at aol.com hetchhetchyman at aol.com
Tue Nov 9 12:52:02 CST 2010

It is funny that I personally never made a plan to be strictly solo. I in fact began hiking from the Mexican border with Chief Chihuahua, Sarong, and Jack Beanstalk. I love those guys but by the time we reached South peak, just the second day, our paces were already different. I decided I had to be true to the pace that made me happy. This meant I did not see my friends again until the Gila. It was awesome to hike with them again if short lived. Once again we became separated in the Gila and I ended up a day ahead of them into Pie Town. That was so cool at Nita's Toaster house when all these NoBo hikers just showed up at the same time! Thirsty Boots, Doc, Jack beanstalk, Chief Chihuahua, Sarong, Lime Green JellyBean, Irish, Brit, and Damp Dan. After Pie town my pace became quicker cause I was just getting into the groove. I saw JellyBean and Company once on the road and Whitefish a bit further on around Mt Taylor, but then not another thru hiker until I ran into Southbounders- The Noodleheads near Mack's Inn Idaho. In all that time I never felt lonely. Maybe because of all the really great people I met in resupply towns along the way filled my need for socialization.
Anyhow I know I am rambling here and you asked about the numbers of groups VS solo's. I just had to kinda run the whole trip through my mind a bit first.
Although I can't speak for these people or be sure they were strictly solo or strictly in a group, the following is what met on trail:
Groups of thru's in NM: 3+4
Solos' in NM 1+1+1+1
Groups of thru's in Idaho 2+2
Groups of thru's in MT 2+2+5+2+2
Solo's in MT 1+1+1
So I met 7 Solo thru hikers and 24 people hiking in groups when I met them.

I can't speak for Sage or Hydro Heidi. I am a guy so I can't know what the differences are both psychological and real for women to hike the CDT solo. I do know there were times when I really wished I could talk to another long distance hiker. I also know there were some pretty awesome sublime moments when I was glad I was alone. Wow, I ain't making much sense, sorry. When I think back I remember being a little jealous when I met that big happy group of southbounders. It brought back memories of the great friends I spent time hiking with on the PCT. There are things that only another thru hiker can understand and when you are solo you don't have an outlet for those thoughts and feelings.  
Anyhow i am making a big 'ole mushy mess of this post now so I'll just let it be. I loved meeting other hikers on the trail. I loved the time we did spend hiking together. I also loved my solo time and that made me appreciate meeting folks all the more I suppose.

Cheers-Matthew Edwards aka Iceaxe
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