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Matt Edwards - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2010

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Matthew Edwards
City: Santa Clara
State: California
Country: United States
Begins: Apr 27, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Feb 2nd, 2010
Start: Painted Moon Ranch Santa Cruz Mountains, California.

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,294
Journal Visits: 50,459
Guestbook Views: 5,930
Guestbook Entrys: 93

Gear list Journal Plan

Continental Divide Trail Map

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Soupy Can Homemade Wood Burner

Zest of Preparations

I am beginning to get a grip on the logisitics of this dream.
Part of me want's to leave a larger percentage of the CDT unknown than was the case on the PCT. Well, Heck I had 18 years to pine over the PCT!
It's funny cause I still remember the send off party my folks had for me for my original PCT attempt in 1991.. I remember Jane Lisset and I talking.. I misspoke and said I was hikng the Continental Divide.. I remember how awkward it was.. I mean those mountains way over there to the east, those Rocky Mountains!
Somehow our little Sierra Nevadas, beautiful as they are, pale a bit in the mythical estimation of my conciousness.
I mean, I have never been ANYWHERE near the CDT yet I have this conception of what it's like there. The mind "fills in the Blanks" I guess.
Amazing what happens when you follow your bliss.
Just like the PCT I expect the CDT to totally surpass my expectations.
Yes, I am absolutely hiking the Continental Divide trail in 2010.
The unknown is whether to go South or North.
This is strange and totally irrational(Now that's funny!) but I have a strong desire to Northbound it.. follow the season as it were.
This would mean an early or Mid May Start date from Columbus NM. If I go NOBO I will most likely use the Palomas/Columbus route described in the Wolf CDT Guides. I like the idea of beginning in the more arid climes. I am also just arrogant enough to race the seasons north to the Canadian border.
Nothing is firm yet mind you, the snowpack in the San Juan Mtns. will factor in somewhat.
Hey, I built a nice little woodburning stove out of soup cans. I'll post a photo here. I love my old school Sierra Zip stove and I wanted the freedom of cook time a woodburner brings. The reason I want to cook longer? I have decided I need to carry more whole grains and better rice etc. which require a bit more cook time. I felt that my diet, while adequate on the PCT, could have been more wholesome. It will save some weight but I truly feel the energy value of whole foods is more valuable than mere caloric content would indicate. I have been training, although I have always been in training, now I have a clear goal. Yes, it is still Mexico to Canada, but now it shall be along the Continental Divide of North America.
I posted my gear list. The only big change besides the stove is my pack. I have a gorgeous Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus. Shaves a full pound off my pack weight and compresses my gear load better for more support. You see, I use frameless backpacks.. the load is compressed to create a stable firm carry. Frameless packs are great for light loads such as what thru hikers carry but can be uncomfortable if the volume of the pack is too large for the gear load.Even with the sleeping pad stuffed inside The Pinnacle sags when the hipbelt is on, the Exodus does not. The only difference is volume. Of course if you lighten the overall load you may not need the hipbelt at all, obviating the issue. I know it sounds like minutia and no-one has the ultimate answer. It's all part of the journey.
And a Journey it shall be!
Right now.. Colorado is a myth to me. Wyoming is a place on a map. Montana a mental construct.
I am not going to sit by and watch another forty years go by without finding out what is just around that mountain.
I intend to hike those mountains!

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Journal Photo

Continental Divide Trail

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:


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