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First Church of The Masochist Hikes


The sustained altitude up here on the Colorado CDT redline has been rough after my last few months on the Mississippi. That combined with some unsettled weather and yet another a bloody issue around Winter Park hasn’t made for very much satisfying progress. But thats ok, one day at a time and eventually this trail trends lower…
Back on trail #continentaldividetrail #cdtsobo #cdt2023
And back to trail I go. Last year I was southbound on the Continental Divide Trail for 1,960 miles when a nasty combination of COVID and Norovirus drove me off trail around Salida in mid October. Since I like doing the redline and I had to make some compromises after Grand Lake I decided I’d restart there, do the Rocky Mountain loop, and then continue on south aiming for the Mexican border once again. That should leave me with about 1,360 ish miles to wrap up the season assuming no big fire closures get in my way. At which point it’s probably time to head back to SoCal for the winter. Probably…
Mississippi River Source to Sea Paddle Day 75 | Lower River Mile -13 | 2,465 miles paddled. 

And at long last we reached the gulf a few miles out past Port Eads. (Technically we reached it on day 65 when we finished the Atchafalaya route which seems to have become the preferred S2S finish but we decided to go do the main route past NOLA as well.) Also technically the mouth of the river is Head of Passes but we wanted to go all the way out to the saltwater.

This trip has been one of my favorite things we’ve ever done which is saying something after the last few years. And it was particularly special as Jen was able to join me for the entire thing instead of just a big chunk. While there were struggles along the way those are just part of any big adventure and we both came off this one smiling if slightly covered in horrific levels of heat rash.

The canoe which we bought used near the headwaters was sold to an enthusiastic gentleman in NOLA who seemed overjoyed at the adventures he had planned with his family.

Sadly this adventure is now over and Jen is headed back for SoCal. Which involves flying into the teeth of Hurricane Hilary as it turns out. Meanwhile I’m off for Colorado to see if I can’t wrap up some unfinished business with the Continental Divide Trail redline / Triple Crown. I expect to be hiking on September 4th and trail videos should start soon after.
For me the highlight of this last bit to the gulf was traveling past all the big ocean liners and exploring an old lighthouse. For Jen it was probably the baby raccoons we came across partway up the lighthouse.
Leaving New Orleans we only had a little over 100 miles left to go. Of course the heat and the storms weren’t quite done with us. The day we left we ended up having to dive for shore and hunker as a series of severe thunderstorms caught us from the north.
The advantage of being one of the rare paddlers through a very busy area is sometimes you come across pictures of yourself someone took from a distance. This really captures the scale of the big oil tankers vs our little canoe.