About the Author, Yvette Beetley “Mtn Minnie”: I am a 45-year-old, single woman who loves the outdoors, gardening, my dogs, photography and wine! I have lived in New Mexico for a majority of my life and recently discovered that I need to adventure more around my own state! I have one son (25 yrs old) and two dogs – a Pomeranian (8 years old) and a Chocolate Lab Mix (4 months old).

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I never thought I would be here! Finally after a year of planning, the CDT is within days! I never expected to be flooded with emotions of fear, excitement, nervousness, doubt, strength, and wow all at once. All I can think about is the trail and getting on it. Then my thoughts float to holy shit! You’re doing it! And, it hits me…You’re doing this with your one and only son – the last of your immediate family! Life truly is something else!
I think of our life journey to this point. We’ve always been close but we had a bump and it’s been weird getting back on track…like a little something is missing. I think the CDT is going to bring that little something back. I’m scared! I’m happy! Am I expecting too much? I’m teary just writing this. Ok, I’m fibbing – I’m sitting in the post office parking lot crying because I am overwhelmed with these thoughts and they all hit me so I had to pull over and write it out (and get the mail). Most who know me, know that I am not an emotional person. They don’t see me cry much less hear me say it. My happy face is the same as my upset face, my surprised face, my sad face. I am me…I’m strong…not an emotional wreck sitting in the parking lot! But, it’s okay! I am learning to accept this emotional woman I am becoming…just don’t tell anyone!
Back to my Kid – I sure do love him with every ounce of my being. You mothers know…whether by blood or not…you know these little beings come into our lives and create craziness. They are the only ones to make us truly happy, proud and even hurt us so deep down that it cannot be explained but, we love them more than our own lives. So, this one Kid that I have – he is awesome! He has become this amazing adult – he’s generous, he’s funny, he’s smart and sometimes he cares too much and he’s a bit of an asshole! But, he gets that from his dad! Just kidding his dad is a pretty good guy too. This Kid loves his Mama and is willing to subject himself to 140 miles of the CDT all in the name of protecting her and of course, I’m sure he has reasons of his own as well.
The Kid is driving from the Dallas, Texas area a couple days before the hike so we can take care of a couple pre-hike items. What he doesn’t know is…Mama has a surprise! My Dad- His Papa, passed away about 10 years ago. My dad’s dream was to hike from the bottom of the Sierra Blanca Mountain (11,981 elevation) on our beautiful Mescalero Apache Reservation in NM  to the top. He never accomplished that dream before passing away. I still have some of his ashes because I am working up to making that journey for him. We will be taking him with us. I have ordered leather pouches – one for each of us and we will carry his ashes along the CDT with us. He loved the outdoors and nature. I cannot wait for the Kid to get here!!
Through it all – this hike will be amazing. We will learn, we will make mistakes, we will laugh, we will get lost, we will find our way – Our way to each other. I am excited for the laughs, the smiles, welcoming the aches and pains and the frustrations that will surely happen.
This will be the last blog before we hit the trail….see you soon!  Over n Out!