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CDT SOBO from NM 15, NM
mini location map2020-10-15
25 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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CDT SOBO from NM 15, NM 
CDT SOBO from NM 15, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2020
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,041 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   14 Mns   2.11 mph
2,041 ft AEG      30 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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1st trip
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2020 New Mexico trip Hike #3 - Continental Divide Trail Mile 181.8 to 177

The CDT trailhead on NM 15 was just 2 miles north of our AirBnB so it was just a few minutes and we were on-the-trail again. And like all but the first hike of this trip the temps were in the mid-50's to start and mid-70's at the end so they were all within Tracey's comfort level.

Heading southbound we began with an easy downhill in a shaded area so all of the the first tenth-of-a-mile was quite pleasant. But of course it didn't last long, the next 1.5 miles were a constant uphill, part of it on a trail and most along a forest road. In fact, well over half of this hike would be on forest roads and while the road walk itself was boring, every once in a while we would have a scenic view of the surrounding area. One of the most prominent features was the Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery and to a lesser degree, the St Joseph's Monastery. The Continental Divide Trail used to pass much closer to the monasteries but thankfully, due to how steep that route was, it no longer does.

The next three miles was a constant descent, with the last mile to our planned turn-around point was on a particularly unpleasant rocky part of the road. Both of us had the same thought... this is not going to be fun climbing up on the return trip. But once we reached what seemed halfway to Little Walnut Creek Road there was a nice open yet shaded area, which appeared to be a designated camp/picnic spot. So we took advantage of it. I failed to take a photo of it today, but no matter, I'll make sure to do that when we stop here again tomorrow on our hike northbound from Little Walnut Creek Road.

After an extended lunch/nap we began the climb neither of us was too happy about. But once we reached where the road leveled out somewhat the continued climb felt easy. Just past a locked gate we heard a truck approaching and what do you know, it was a propane delivery truck! Quite the surprise as the only possible destination we could think of was the communication site on Piños Altos Mountain, but this seemed quite unlikely as there is a better and shorter way up from NM 15.

Once we began the long descent it was the same as earlier... boring along the road until onto an actual trail again. Then on a steep climb just a few hundred feet before crossing a road here comes a brown furry animal barreling down at me from seemingly out-of-nowhere. Before I had time to figure out what it was and if it was a danger I saw a woman come out of the brush and immediately realized it was a dog, which actually blew by me as though I wasn't even there. So I figured it was a regular along the trail and was well-trained enough not to bark or trouble anyone it met. And moments later, here comes another dog (more obvious by it's boxer-look) from behind us, so it must have been off-trail as we passed by and it was now returning to met its owner. And like the other one, it passed us like we didn't exist. All we ascertained when passing the woman was that this was her daily ritual out with her dogs.

Once past the road it was a short dip down and back up to the trailhead. Even with the 30-minute rest stop in the middle this was definitely a butt-kicker compared to yesterday. And tomorrow we will hike northbound to the same mid-point from Little Walnut Creek Road.

But no matter how we beat felt physically we really have become to enjoy hiking on the CDT. As mentioned in the previous triplogs, and I'm sure I will again, this part is very conducive to mountain biking.

NOTE: I posted a GPS file including all the parts of the CDT we hiked as one single northbound track as well as the Burro Peak CDT NM06 hike.
GPS Route: Continental Divide Trail NM07 Mile 169 to 188
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