Continental Divide Trail Journal

Part 1: New Mexico

Believe it or not, New Mexico was the coldest state on the whole trail. The land of enchantment will be remembered for its stunning sunsets and green chilies on every food you can think of. The first section of the CDT was spent getting my trail legs and learning to make critical decisions about what route to take and how much water to carry. Highlights include crossing the Gila River 200 times and summiting Mt Taylor.

Part 2: The Flip (Wyoming Part 1)

Because I have lived in the San Juans for the past two winters I was very aware of the avalanche danger in these mountains and the incredible spring time beauty during the wildflower bloom. When I got to the Colorado border I decided to Flip up to Lander Wyoming and hike back south to the NM/CO border so I could see the San Juans in my favorite season. Another advantage to this “flip” was getting to be in the Great Basin during spring time there as well. The wildlife in the otherwise seemingly desolate Basin was incredible to witness and when I flopped back up, the antelope I saw in the spring now had babies following them around. I feel so lucky I had the support to make the logistics of a flip flop work.

Day 42: Another Zero in Chama

Day 43: 5 Miles In

Day 44: One Step Forward Two Steps Back

Day 45: Revolt to the Rescue (Yet Again)

Day 46: Wyoming

Day 47: Weasel Spring

Day 48: Wildlife Galore

Day 49: A & M Reservoir

Day 50: Day 50!

Day 51: Memorial Day on the Side of a Highway

Day 52: Leaving Rawlins

Day 53: Crawfish Party in Muddy Creek

Day 54: Complete Exposure and Koolaid Snowballs

Day 55: Encampment Wyoming

Day 56: Colorado Border Round 2!

Part 3: Colorado

Highlights from Colorado include summiting high altitude peaks including Grey’s at 14k. The best part was the San Juans in full wildflower bloom for sure. I was lucky enough to be visited by friends and family all over this state. Support from loved ones is one of the reasons I chose to hike the CDT this year. Being close to “home” is important to me if I have the option to be.

Day 57: Surprisingly Easy

Day 58: Lost Ranger Peak

Day 59: Rabbit Ears Pass

Day 60: Steamboat Springs

Day 61: 12 Pack Finds a Plate!

Day 62: Sheep Mountain and Poison Ridge

Day 63: Parkview Mountain

Day 64: Granby Lake

Day 65: Hellacious Blow Downs!

Day 66: 13k Twice in One Day!

Day 67: Sketchiness

Day 68: Gray’s Peak

Day 69: Hippo Trail

Day 70: Frisco

Day 71: Copper Mountain

Day 72: Mount of the Holy Cross Wilderness

Day 73: Surprise Visit!

Day 74: Leadville Colorado

Day 75: Hope and Lake Ann Pass

Day 76: Safe in the Valley

Day 77: No Breaks

Day 78: Monarch Crest and Butterfly House

Day 79: Lucky Day!

Day 80: Enjoying The Easy Stuff While it Lasts

Day 81: Cochetopa Creek

Day 82: Snow Mesa

Day 83: SOS

Day 84: Stony Pass

Day 85: July 4th

Day 86: Lightning Strikes

Day 87: Butter Knife Edge

Day 88: Wolf Creek Pass

Day 89: Pagosa Springs

Day 90: Onwards to Cumbres

Day 91: NO RAIN

Day 92: Chama Round 2

Part 4: The Flop (Wyoming Part 2)

If you could only hike one state on the CDT I’d recommend Wyoming. It has it all. A desert, mind blowing mountain ranges, a nice green tunnel in a National Park, and all the wildlife you could ever wish to see. Highlights of this state included the Wind River Range (which was my favorite section of the whole trail) and seeing wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Truly an incredible experience.

Day 93-95: Type 1 Fun

Day 96: Sweet Water Gaurd

Day 97: Cirque of the Towers

Day 98: Dragging Ass

Day 99: Cube Rock Pass

Day 100: A Long Long Time Ago

Day 101: Tapering Into Town

Day 102: Lava Mountain Lodge

Day 103: A Zero in the Tetons

Day 104: Entering the Horse Highway

Day 105: Grizzly Glimpse

Day 106: Yellowstone National Park Day 1 … Heart Lake

Day 107: Yellowstone National Park Day 2… Grant Village

Day 108: Yellowstone National Park Day 3 … Old Faithful Village

Part 5: Mont-Iadho

The CDT follows the border of Montana and Idaho for a while. In this section there was a large wildfire closure I decided to hitch hike around. Walking 130 miles on paved roads is not what I signed up to do this summer. Maybe if I was with a fun crew I would have done it but I am happy with my decision to return to this section and hike it another time. This section had a lot of wide open sage brush fields which were dreamy when the weather was nice and terrifying when the lightning was striking. My longest water carry of 26 miles was in this section. It’s not called Dry-daho for nothing.

Day 109: Idaho!

Day 110: West Yellowstone

Day 111: Targhee Pass

Day 112: Red Rock Pass

Day 113: AT Class of 2019/ Rock Spring

Day 114: Lima Montana

Day 115: Blazing Hot Ridgelines

Day 116: Deadman Lake

Day 117: Spooky Lightning

Day 118: Elk Mountain

Part 6: Montana

The grand finale mixed with absolute fatigue. I considered quitting in Butte and Helena after dealing with pretty bad digestive issues for weeks. I was sick of being sick and the 20+ mile days were not conducive to getting better. I took some zeros and probiotics to get me through the end. I split-up with my hiking partner and got a new backpack. Highlights include meeting some awesome hikers after weeks of isolation, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park. I was only trying to beat the snow to Canada but I was able to jump into Waterton Lake on a perfect day. At the end of the trail two hiker friends named Dev and Matt that I met on the Appalachian Trail took care of me for a whole week in Whitefish. I am so thankful for this hike and the people that supported me along the way.

Day 119: Wisdom Montana

Day 120: Straight Shot to Canada

Day 121: Warren Lake

Day 122: Rainbow Mountain

Day 123: Wise River

Day 124: Feeling Good?

Day 125: Love From Butte

Day 126: The Smoke Comes Rolling In

Day 127: Arriving in Butte

Day 128: A Zero in Butte

Day 129: Champion Pass

Day 130: Cold and Wet

Day 131: MacDonald Pass

Day 132: A Zero in Helena

Day 133: Big Storms Leaving Helena

Day 134: High Divide Outfitters

Day 135: Falling In Love with the ULA Circuit

Day 136: Lincoln Montana

Day 137: Lewis and Clark Pass

Day 138: Zoning Out

Day 139: Augusta

Day 140: Entering the Bob Marshall Wilderness

Day 141: Bob Marshall Day 2 … Racing Sunset

Day 142: Bob Marshall Day 3 … Jurassic Park

Day 143: Bob Marshall Wilderness Day 4 … East Glacier

Day 144: Two Medicine

Day 145: Glacier NP Day 1 … Old Man Lake

Day 146: Glacier NP Day 2… Red Eagle Lake

Day 147: Glacier NP Day 3 …. St Mary Falls

Day 148: Glacier NP Day 4 … Fifty Mountain

Day 149: The End

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