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Birdman - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2013

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Birdman and Horton
Begins: Apr 23, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Apr 21st, 2013
Start: Boston

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,708
Journal Visits: 7,643
Guestbook Views: 808
Guestbook Entrys: 27

Continental Divide Trail Map

(Click image for full size)


The CDT

The CDT is yadda yadda...

Time for another long walk.

The Continental Divide Trail runs 2800 miles from Mexico to Canada. The trail roughly tracks the continental divide, the imaginary line dividing the watersheds of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Rain falling west of the divide eventually finds its way to the Pacific; east of the line, water ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. In the U.S., the divide traverses the spine of the Rocky Mountains, from New Mexico to Montana.

Together, the Appalachian, Pacific Crest Trails, and Continental Divide Trails make up the triple crown of long-distance hiking. All three trails run for 2000+ miles across the U.S., but thats where the similarity ends. Walking the AT and PCT is, well, just walking. You follow marked, established trails the whole way. Not that walking 2000 miles is easy, but you can keep your brain turned off most of the time and still finish a thru-hike.

The CDT, on the other hand, is a different kind of hiking. Past hikers have described it as the PCT on steroids, and its unofficial motto is embrace the brutality. The trail is incomplete, mostly unmarked, and little-traveled. This means that well have to pay constant attention to where we are and become adept with map and compass. The route often follows old dirt roads or jeep trails, many of which are unmapped. Sometimes well be off trail completely, bushwacking through forests and fields. Nothing like this is found on the AT or PCT.

The CDTs terrain is a challenge, too. In Colorado, there are long stretches above treeline where lightning is a danger. The New Mexico section is in the middle of a serious drought, so well have to take any water we can get, mainly from gross cow ponds. In fact, we wont see our first natural water source until 200 miles into the state. And the last 1000 miles of trail are in grizzly bear country. Most of you reading this journal are probably familiar with the smaller, more common black bears. Take a black bear, double its size, give it a angry disposition and a taste for human flesh, you have a grizzly bear. I'm hoping to get some good picture (Horton would rather see hers from a long distance).

But we wouldn't be hiking it if was all frustration and danger. Theres so much to look forward to: massive wilderness areas like the San Juan Mountains in Colorado and the Wind River Range in Wyoming, endless views as we walk across the desert in southern New Mexico, Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park, finishing in Glacier National Park, and best of all, being able to eat whatever we want for 5 months while still losing weight!

We start hiking on Tuesday.

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Journal Photo

Birdman And Horton On The CDT

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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