The start of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) does to hikers whatever you would consider the opposite of “ease them into the hike” (that's right, it fucks them in the back of a Volkswagen).
The water sources hikers have to drink from (yes, you have to drink from them, the alternative is dehydration and a terrible death) do not always look appetizing at first glance, but you have to realize what we have the technology to turn no-so-tasty looking water into most-tasty-looking water. I began the trail with a Sawyer Squeeze and would probably do the same were I to hike the New Mexico CDT again.
However, once you've removed the physical filth from your water, you may still need to deal with the fact that your water still tastes like dirt or, if you're lucky, poop. This is where I employ my army of True Lemon packets, Mio, and Powerade packets to combat nature's flavors. That being said, when you're thirsty enough, you'll drink anything.
So if you're thinking about hiking the Continental Divide Trail (or if you're looking for an excuse not to), here's an idea of what you have to look forward to while you're out there melting in the New Mexico sun.