Connecting the Dots

May 5, 2015 Mountainair 

Dear Readers, 

Sorry I’ve left you hanging! I haven’t had a day off since I went to the CDT kick-off beginning of April. Right now I’m 100 miles from Albuquerque, the end of this route. There’s a lot to say and it’s not all going to happen now in this post.

First, I want to say that just because I was sexually harassed along the route doesn’t mean you should not hike the GET alone. There are always inherent risks while hiking alone, sexual harassment is one of them. I’ve been sexually harassed on the Pacific Crest Trail too. Women are sexually harassed everywhere, it’s something we live with -day to day for some. But this doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it, so Brett is looking into changing the route away from the farm. 

Ladies, don’t be afraid to hike alone! Carry pepper spray if it makes you feel better. But most likely you’ll never use it because most people are good. Ranchers, ATVers, hunters, cowboys, store owners, miners, and weekend warriors have taken care of me.

Ray Tavizon, deputy sheriff of Grant County invited me to his fire when it was snowing. Jeanette from the Winston general store gave me pepper spray, a miner paid for my meal, a truck driver gave me half of his sandwich, some folks in Monticello Box Canyon gave me apples and hard boiled eggs! 

I have a lot to pay forward after this hike! 

For the most part people will be intrigued and inspired by you, and they will open their hearts. Over time you’ll be able to pick out the opportunists. The more I travel alone, the better my “street smarts.” 

On that note, hiking solo is a rich experience. While I enjoy reflecting with others, hiking and talking at the same time stresses me out. I need to be focused on my surroundings to get the full effect of walking in the wilderness. That’s why we’re out here yeah? 

Especially on a route like this; a route with obscure junctions, no trail or overgrown trail, no GET blazes… I constantly scan the landscape for route indicators-drainages, washes, saddles, clearings through trees, canyons, stock paths, footprints, cairns, saw cut tree blazes, animal poop (indicating water), and sometimes blue flagging tape Brett has tied to something. (When I’m exhausted, I hallucinate blue flagging tape) 

I often walk with my maps and compass in hand and refer to them compulsively. I’ve been using that logical part of my brain, Hey! still got it baby! 

This hike has given me perspective, that there is way more to long distance hiking than following a well-defined path. 


20 thoughts on “Connecting the Dots

  1. I have loved your Instagram posts. Love your sense of humor & your perspective on hiking. I look forward to reading more about your adventures. Your photos are amazing! ..and inspirational. You have quite the eye for beauty & the perfect shot. Be safe out there!


  2. Chance, thank you for your encouraging words to other solo hikers. There are jerks and scary people everywhere, and as you have shown, the trail is no exception, though I’m sure the ratio of jerks and scary people is much lower on the trail than it is in our cities. I’m proud of you for persevering through all the adversity you encounter in all of your hikes. You and your readers’ lives are enriched because of your ability to overcome that adversity.


  3. Great post, Chance! We are such kindred spirits. It’s been validated in so many of your posts. I hate that we still live in a patriarchal society. Women should be as safe as men hiking solo! You are a badass. I would rather hike solo. I think it’s mostly bc I have a need for solitude that has grown as I was very ill and as I’ve grown older. Having stared death in the eye, im not afraid of anything. The only thing I can think of that scares me would be the death of one of my children. And yet, with all I’ve been through, I know I’d survive it. We are both survivors. Can’t wait to hear about your next venture, working n the AT. You always make me smile, & sometimes you make me laugh! Just don’t have singing as your backup profession! 🙂


  4. Great to “hear” from you again! Im glad the harrassment didnt put you off from continuing thhe hike! Id still be scared’ because im not bad ass enough like you!


  5. Hey Chance, glad to have you back!
    We followed you on the PCT, New Zealand and now the GET. Love your writing and posts!
    I’m sorry and apologise that some of us- men, that is, are such jerks, you smile at them and they read only one message- arseholes!
    Looking forward to your trail tales.
    Happy Hiking from Perth , Western Australia.


  6. Hi Chance – If you have a moment in your whirlwind tour between Albuquerque and the east coast, feel free to drop me a line with as much detail as possible regarding the location of this unfortunate incident. The agri area the route passes through is not monolithic in terms of ownership. We’ll probably never know whether this individual is a regular fixture or temporary labor, but in any case we may be able to divert hikers to the adjacent Gila River floodplain for a spell, especially when the fields are actively being worked. The fields have simply proven to be expedient is all. Roads. Quick travel on the way out of town. But safety has to be a priority as well. Most importantly, we’ll try to make folks aware of the options for travel in this area so they can choose their own route as circumstances suggest.


    1. I was just passed the farm buildings you can see from a distance on the right EB. Shortly after he harassed me, I was able to make a right passed some derelict buildings onto a busy road…that road that led to Solomon. He drove a tractor to my location from the farm buildings. He didn’t get or care about what I was doing-WALKING from Phoenix to Albuquerque. Like he thought I was some lost girl…


      1. Wow, okay. Thanks Chance. Wonder if this dude is also a peeping tom with binoculars. I think we can both track this down and offer hikers a way around that section of the fields in the future. I’m on it.


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