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Terry "Cheers!" Norton
Begins: May 1, 2007
Date: Thu, Jul 12th, 2007
Start: Rabbit Ears Pass
End: Boulder, Colorado
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 929.1
Entry Visits: 1,577
Journal Visits: 9,500
Guestbook Views: 219
Guestbook Entrys: 6
A Final Entry
After reaching Rabbit Ears Pass on June 30, I decided to call my CDT hike to a close for now.
The reasons are many. At the core, there has not been much joy in the journey for the last 350 miles of walking. I had hoped the walk along the Colorado high country would rejuvinate my spirit, but that has not happened. In such circumstances, solitude can quickly turn to lonliness for me. I miss seeing other on the trail, but I have an independence streak that keeps me from wanting to hike with a group!
The road walking has also proven detrimental to my spirits. I had hoped to at least reach Rawlins to connect up with the segment I did in the Great Divide Basin. Knowing that much of the route ahead was on roads did not keep my spirits lifted.
On Saturday I hitched south to Fraser with someone headed to the Winter Park Music Festival. While hanging out at the picnic table in front of the Safeway, a local suggested I take Amtrak back to Denver. The train goes through the 13 mile Moffat Tunnel under the Divide, and makes a beautiful descent into Denver. A quick phone call verified the train was running, and the fare was a wonderfully affordable $ 32.
I had not ridden a modern Amtrak train since a first grade field trip. When the train pulled up to the station, I had the giddy feeling of a six year old. "Wouldn't it be cool to work on a train?"
I had always been told that most hikers regret the decision to leave the trail soon after returning home. I have experienced no such regret. For the first week I kept a low profile and only told family and close friends that I was home. I was out day hiking a few days after returning home...back up to the Continental Divide!
I don't know that I will ever complete the CDT. At present I am having difficulty generating enthusiasm to complete the road walks. I will definitely explore the "trail" sections of the CDT in years to come.
There are still hiking plans on the calendar for the remainder of summer. "Ring the Bells" - A 30 mile hike around the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colorado is planned. Also, I will be hiking the San Juan section of the CDT with a friend in late August.
Thanks to all who have helped on this journey! Mags, thanks for the mail support! Matt, thanks for your impromptu therapy/encouragement sessions! As always, thanks Mom & Dad for encouraging your crazy hiking son.
The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more: www.continentaldividetrail.org
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