Continental Divide Trail in My Sights

One forgets just how much planning is involved in preparation to hike a long distance trail. Where does the trail pass, what should one expect, how long will it take, what will the weather be like? Lots of questions, and, that is before one thinks of FOOD.

The notion of hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) has been bouncing around my brain for a couple of years. It has been, unbelievably, 14 years since my Appalachian Trail thru hike. Why the CDT? It will be a challenge, not only in the sheer amount of miles (potentially 3100) but in the fact that it is not yet totally complete and fewer folk attempt it. Both the AT and the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) have experienced such a surge in popularity in recent years it is a turn off for me. In fact, the PCT has a lottery system to hold down the number of people starting per day to, I believe, 50. In a given year there may be 300-500 start the CDT. As stated, lots less folk. As I officially retired at the end of last year now is the time.

The CDT winds through five states, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. I am especially looking forward to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana as I have not visited there to date. It has been determined that this will not be a total thru hike in so much that we are skipping Colorado. When we arrive at the New Mexico/Colorado border toward the end of May the snow cover in Colorado will be heavier than I want to deal with so we are headed up to Wyoming to begin the hike in the Great Basin which should be warming up nicely. Also, we have to be somewhere on August 29 prohibiting the total completion. I plan to walk Colorado in 2021 to finish the trail.

Am I going by myself? No, not now. Fortunately, my hiking friend Greg stated he would really like to hike as well. Hiking along would be more of a challenge and there would be no one to bounce ideas off, like: do you think that is the trail?? (The CDT has much less signage than other more established long trails.) Also, Jim feels better. This will allow Jim to have a summer instead of constantly checking on me or following me up the trail for resupply instead of hitching into towns.

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