Day 4 on the Continental Divide Trail

The wind subsided overnight as a cold front moved through. After breakfast, I headed west through short shrubland then veered north. I lost the trail twice where it crossed fences. In such cases, I estimated the direction the trail went and hiked on looking for trail signs or footprints. Thus far, the Continental Divide Trail is not a trail as most people would think of one. It’s a path beat out by hikers walking rather than a constructed tread. Not enough signs either. As the day wore on my foot pain continued but at least I could walk about 2 mph. In about 8 miles the trail turned west into Rockhound Canyon along a two-track Road. I got a liter of water at a stock tank that swarmed with bees. Onward mostly downhill to the Animas Road water cache where I got 2 liters for the walk to Lordsburg. I abandoned the trail In favor of walking on Animas Road. The road surface was smooth, probably easier on my feet. Three long hours later I reached the Econolodge in Lordsburg. After checking in I took off my shoes and socks. My feet were trashed with massive blisters on the front pads of both feet. I had heel blisters on both feet (see photo). My autonomic nervous system went wild with pain. I could hardly take one step. I ran water in the bathtub but my feet howled in protest when they touched the warm water. Amazingly, I got cold and started shivering. It took nearly an hour in my down sleeping bag to warm up. I have no idea when I’ll be able to resume hiking.

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