My name is Heidi but you can call me Picasso. I hail from Charlotte, North Carolina. I hiked the Appalachian Trail NoBo in 2018 and have since hiked a number of smaller trails, including the Superior Hiking Trail (MN) and the Foothill's Trail (SC). I am currently hiking the 2021 CDT NoBo hike with my partner. When I am not hiking, I work at a brewery and pursue a side career of being an artist. Oh, and I love dogs.
We are making our way North on what is supposed to be a safer alternate route to avoid the snow of the San Juans. An accident interrupts our progress.
We enter the South San Juans and are faced with the challenges hiking through snow at high elevation. I am put outside my comfort zone and we witness two search-and-rescue evacuations.
Our final days in New Mexico are filled with beauty, but the discomforts of thru hiking are starting to get to me. I am thankful for the support of my partner and of change on the horizon.
The CDT takes us through some of New Mexico’s high points (figuratively and literally). We experience new terrain and weather patterns, along with even more hospitality from the locals.
A stretch of less interesting terrain and road walking has our spirits down. Thankfully, eclectic towns and the kindness of strangers are keeping us optimistic!
The Gila River section of the CDT did not disappoint! Although the continuous river crossings make for slower miles....The towering canyon walls, fresh water and hot springs made it worthwhile. The special wildlife sighting was an extra bonus!
This overview of my first four days on the CDT covers the complications the desert presents, as well as the support provided by the communities and other hikers.
A detailed overview of the gear I will be carrying on the CDT
I find myself checking the Countdown app on my phone more and more these days. The start date for my CDT thru hike attempt draws near: 73 days… 69 days… 53 days… I can’t help but reflect on how I felt leading up to my AT hike, and notice the differences between then and now.
The CDT was always the trail I said I never wanted to hike. It seems far too long, challenging, and isolated for me to successfully thru hike, and the thought if it leaves me shaken and fearful. And that's exactly why I've decided to hike it.