TRAIL DAYS IS BACK!

What: A celebration of the launch of the 2017 hiking season and Silver City, the CDT’s first Gateway Community!

When: April 28-30, 2017

Where: Various locations in and around downtown Silver City, NM

Who: Past, present, and future hikers. Anyone who loves the outdoors, or has a thirst for adventure!


Schedule of Events:

FRIDAY, APRIL 28

Seminars and Presentations at the Seedboat Gallery:

9am: CDT 101, Teresa Martinez

Wondering what the fuss is all about? Want to brush up on your CDT trivia for those long car rides in and out of town? Join CDTC Executive Director Teresa Martinez for a history of the “King of Trails,” examining the past, present, and future of this 3,100-mile odyssey.

Teresa Martinez is the Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

10am: Diversity in the Outdoors, Gabe Vasquez

Despite a lowly 8% participation rate in public land recreation, Hispanic communities are overwhelmingly supportive of conservation and permanent protection of public lands. More efforts are being made to highlight the role of Hispanic communities and individuals in our nation’s conservation history. Throughout the country, more people of color are discovering conservation by going hunting, fishing, hiking, climbing, kayaking, and exploring again. But in New Mexico, a state in deep poverty, many barriers still remain that prevent many Hispanic youth and their families from experiencing the outdoors in a meaningful way. Hispanics, who make up the majority population in New Mexico and have a deep and rich history on the land, should be at the forefront of the conservation movement – so what can we do we help spur the next generation of conservation leaders?

Gabe Vasquez is the southern New Mexico coordinator for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, the founder of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, and the New Mexico Coordinator for Latino Outdoors. Gabe grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where both of his parents worked for the maquiladora industry, and later moved to New Mexico, where he discovered fishing, and developed a passion for the outdoors and conservation. Gabe is also a former aide to Senator Martin Heinrich, and a former newspaper editor from Las Cruces.

11am: Navigation with Jerry Brown

A discussion into the mechanics of how GPS works, how to customize your GPS to perform better, and some basics of navigation along the CDT using a Garmin GPS.

Jerry Brown‘s survey crew hiked and mapped the CDT for the US Forest Service. He is owner of Bear Creek Survey Service, LLC. Jerry’s maps and, or, waypoint databases are used by the majority of CDT hikers.

12pm: Thru-Hikes for the Working Stiff, Whitney "Allgood" LaRuffa

Do you dream of leaving life behind and going for a long-distance hike in America? Can’t seem to throw all caution to the wind and give up your job, home, and regular life? Well, have no fear, join Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa as he shares information on hikes that anyone can do during a normal 1-2 week vacation from work. Thru-Hikes for the Working Stiff will cover the John Muir Trail, the Wonderland Trail, and the Tahoe Rim Trail, three hikes which anyone with a week or two off of work can make a dream of a long distance hike a reality.

Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa grew up in rural NH, where he forged his love of the outdoors and activities such as fishing, skiing, and his true love: backpacking. Allgood has hiked over 6,000 miles with his K-9 companions over the years. Allgood has hiked many long trails in the US, but is most proud of his 2014 pioneering thru-hike of the Chinook Trail, a 293-mile route through the Columbia River Gorge in WA and OR. In 2016, Allgood left his career in the world of forest products and reconnected with rural America by successfully completing his thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada.

After many years on the trail, Allgood is a sought after speaker, teaching people about responsible backcountry use with their dog, ultra-light hiking, and a vast variety of hiking-related topics. Allgood is also the President of the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West), where he volunteers countless hours helping be the voice of America’s long distance hiker. When not helping others learn about hiking, you can find Allgood walking the trails around the US in need of a shower, a cold beer, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

1pm: Hike 'em While You Got 'em! Public Lands Under Attack, Teresa Martinez

The biggest potential threat to CDT hikers is not grizzly bears, but proposed legislation to eliminate federal public lands. Right now, 95% of the trail is protected – but that may be about to change. Come learn what makes our public lands unique, why and how they are at risk, and what YOU can do to fight back.

Teresa Martinez is the Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

2pm: Gear Demos with Vasque and Toaks

Are you curious about hiking shoes – the theory, the fit, the different options? Vasque Footwear, title sponsor of Trail Days, will be on the scene to address all your questions and needs!

Fellow sponsor Toaks Outdoors will demonstrate various cooking options and equipment.

3pm: Allgood's 2016 CDT Hike, Whitney "Allgood" LaRuffa

On April 18, 2016, Allgood set off from Crazy Cook Monument and walked north along the length of the CDT to the US/Canadian border in 147 days. Allgood was the CDTC hiker ambassador in 2016, and his love for the CDT is strong. Join Allgood as he shares his tales from the trail and his “wish someone had told me this beforehand” hints for this year’s class of thru-hikers. He will show you amazing pictures from his hike, and help demystify the trail so that everyone can realize: you don’t need to be a superhuman to hike the CDT.

Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa grew up in rural NH, where he forged his love of the outdoors and activities such as fishing, skiing, and his true love: backpacking. Allgood has hiked over 6,000 miles with his K-9 companions over the years. Allgood has hiked many long trails in the US, but is most proud of his 2014 pioneering thru-hike of the Chinook Trail, a 293-mile route through the Columbia River Gorge in WA and OR. In 2016, Allgood left his career in the world of forest products and reconnected with rural America by successfully completing his thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada.

After many years on the trail, Allgood is a sought after speaker, teaching people about responsible backcountry use with their dog, ultra-light hiking, and a vast variety of hiking-related topics. Allgood is also the President of the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West), where he volunteers countless hours helping be the voice of America’s long distance hiker. When not helping others learn about hiking, you can find Allgood walking the trails around the US in need of a shower, a cold beer, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

4pm-6pm – Happy Hour & Gear Raffle at Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery

SATURDAY, APRIL 29

8am – Youth Mural Walk – Meets at Javalina Coffee House and ends at Murray Ryan Visitor’s Center.

10am-4pm – “Base Camp” – live music, food trucks, gear vendors, and more! Morning Star parking lot, College & Bullard.

Seminars and Presentations at the Seedboat Gallery:

9am: Hiking Safely in Southwest New Mexico, Grant County Search & Rescue

Kyle will be representing Grant County Search and Rescue during his talk about safety precautions and considerations when hiking in southwestern New Mexico, from the desert to the mountains. He will show his Search and Rescue pack with the required gear and discuss the process of being rescued when lost or injured. Questions and comments from the audience are encouraged.

Kyle Meredith moved to Silver City from Trinidad, Colorado, in 2004 and joined Grant County Search and Rescue in 2006 at the age of 55. On his first mission he was appointed Team Leader and proceeded to lose the map of the search area. (Fortunately, the other two members of the team knew their way around.) Since that time Kyle has participated in a variety of trainings, including maps and orienteering, GPS, tracking, lost person behavior, wilderness first aid, radio communications, and innumerable mock searches where the teams get to practice in real-world situations. He’s pleased to say that he has been on several teams responsible for locating the missing or injured party, but it’s just as rewarding when any team can take the credit. He finds that the greatest thrill of Search and Rescue is working together toward the ultimate goal of helping those who are in danger in what can be an unfamiliar and hostile environment.

10am: Embrace the Bro-tality? Women & Long-Distance Hiking, Jenny "Cloud" Gaeng

The number of women thru-hikers is on the rise, but Jenny “Cloud” Gaeng still felt outnumbered on the CDT. She and the other women attempting this feat faced challenges that their male companions simply did not understand. Nevertheless, she persisted, and is now out to convince more women to shed their preconceived notions and hit the trail. This presentation will explore the fine line between the real risks that women face, and society’s attempts to dissuade them from having adventures. It is aimed towards people of all genders who wish to laugh, cry, and build a safer and more inclusive hiking community.

Jenny “Cloud” Gaeng was born in Baltimore and didn’t sleep outdoors until the age of twenty. A rapidly acquired backpacking addiction fueled her move to the Southwest after college, and eventually her 2016 CDT hike. From a blisteringly hot day in Mexico to a bitterly cold one in Canada, Cloud found profound meaning in her personal and cultural experiences along the trail. She now works as Gateway Community Coordinator for the CDTC in Silver City, NM. She believes strongly in the mental health benefits of long-distance hiking, and advocates for increased diversity and accessibility on the trail.

11am: Desert Hiking, Sirena Dufault

This presentation will explore the unique challenges, safety risks, and epic rewards that come with hiking in the desert.

12pm: Shaping the Wilderness in Southwest New Mexico, Nathan Newcomer

The Gila National Forest has begun revision of the Gila Forest Plan, which was last updated in 1986. As a part of updating the Gila Forest Plan, the Gila National Forest must look at potential recommended wilderness areas, in addition to eligible wild & scenic rivers. This presentation will offer insights into how citizens are conducting wilderness inventories as a part of forest plan revisions.

Nathan Newcomer is a fifth generation New Mexican with more than fifteen years of experience working on wilderness campaigns in the state of New Mexico. He is currently the Gila Grassroots Organizer for the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, and has previously been the Media Director, and Associate Director for the organization. In 2012, Mr. Newcomer designed and implemented a system to comprehensively conduct on-the-ground wilderness inventories and provide electronic GPS data, and associated written narratives to the Cibola National Forest. He currently is in charge of organizing and conducting wilderness inventories of over 1 million acres in the Gila National Forest.

1pm: Navigating with Guthook's App, Guthrie Alexander

Guthook’s app, “Continental Divide Trail,” is used by the majority of CDT hikers as their primary or backup navigational method. Apps are also available for a wide variety of long-distance trails is the U.S. and abroad. Learn how to navigate quickly and easily with the app, and get an insider look at new special features.

Guthrie Alexander is the Visual Data Information Manager for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. He has worked closely with Atlas Guides in developing the Continental Divide Trail app.

2pm: Hiking the Arizona Trail, Ellen "No Butt" Shopes

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is an 800-mile long journey from the lowlands of the Sonoran desert to the high plateaus of the Mogollon Rim. Learn more about the trail and what it takes to explore it on foot, horseback, or bike.

Ellen “No Butt” Shopes has section and thru-hiked the Arizona Trail, as well as a number of other long distance trails.

3pm: Thru-Hiker Panel

Have you ever wondered what hikers eat? How many miles they travel in a day? What was their most exciting, or dangerous, moment on trail? Luckily, we’ve assembled a crack team of thru-hikers to take on the difficult and controversial topics, like the weight of gear and backcountry bathroom etiquette. We know you’ve got questions, and while they may not always agree, they have answers! So come and fire away – or sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Collectively, our panel of hikers have completed the Triple Crown over three times, as well as many other long trails in the United States and abroad.

7:30pm: KEYNOTE - PCT Winter Thru-Hike, Shawn Forry

Join us at the Murray Hotel Ballroom for Shawn “Pepper” Forry’s account of his daring 2015 winter thru-hike of the PCT. If you’re nervous about facing June in the San Juans, this incredible story might make you feel better – or worse!

Having completed the Triple Crown of hiking (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail) by age 25, Shawn Forry has continued to refine the limitations of ultralight travel, having logged more than 25,000mi of wilderness experience. Having guided dogsledding tours in the Northwoods of MN in temps below -45F, he also holds the unsupported speed record of the Colorado Trail, covering the 465mi in just over 10 days. In collaboration with Justin Lichter, Forry has pioneered routes across the world including the spine of the Himalaya and Southern Alps of New Zealand. Together in 2014/15 they became the first individuals to traverse the 2650mi Pacific Crest Trail during winter, a trip the New York Times dubbed “the most daring expedition since Lewis and Clark”, and lending to an induction to the California Outdoors Hall of Fame. Forry is the Program Director for Outward Bound California having spent over a decade inspiring youth in the pursuit of leadership and character development. Based in the Tahoe region, he enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, alpine climbing, cycling and the occasional crossword.

SUNDAY, APRIL 30

10am – Community Hike – Gomez Peak. 3.35 miles.

4pm – Open Mic at Little Toad Creek. Come share a story, a song, or something unique!


FAQ:

Q: Do I have to register or pay to attend any of the events?
A: Nope! Trail Days is free and open to the public.

Q: How do I get to Silver City? Where should I stay, and what should I eat?
A: Visit our Silver City web page for suggestions.

Q: Can I volunteer to help with Trail Days?
A: Definitely. Click here to sign up.

Q: Will I get free socks?
A: Probably.

For more information, contact:
Jenny Gaeng, CDTC Gateway Community Coordinator
Email: jgaeng@continentaldividetrail.org


Trail Days is grateful for the support of returning title sponsor Vasque Footwear, as well as retailers Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, Toaks Outdoors, Osprey Backpacks, Backpackers Pantry, Darn Tough Socks, Leki, Atlas Guides, and many more.

The event is made possible by local partners Gila Hike & Bike, Morning Star Sports, the Market Café, Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery, Home Furniture, the Murray Hotel, the Carter House, Syzygy Tile, Grant County Trails, CDT Greenways Committee, Dominoes, Daylight Donuts, Javalina Coffee House, Seedboat Gallery, the Town of Silver City, the Silver City Arts and Cultural District, and its many attendees and volunteers.

Huge thanks to title sponsor Vasque Footwear!