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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: May 1, 2018
Date: Sun, Jul 8th, 2018
Start: Eugene, OR
End: Eugene, OR
Trip Distance: 826.0
Entry Visits: 305
Journal Visits: 22,862
Guestbook Views: 360
Guestbook Entrys: 21
Part Way Through
Well it has been about a week and a half since I left the trail. I got back a day late after weather, air traffic issues, insufficient airplane fuel, crew switches, and sleeping in the Seattle airport with about a hundred other stranded passengers. Frankly it was easier to negotiate snowfields and ford rivers than to brave air travel. But I am home safely and just finished a delightful week of family visiting us here in Oregon. I am now trying to get through all the mail, etc. that accumulated during my absence and let things settle down to normal again.
The journey, thus far, on the CDT has been fascinating. Moving through the desert was not nearly as brutal as I had anticipated, but I did benefit from mild temps and overcast skies the first few days. Road walks were as onerous as I expected, but I was able to walk them pretty fast without injury which was fortunate. I was able to avoid several fire closures, but fire danger did stop my Cuba to Ghost Ranch segment. The Durango fire just meant that the Great Divide Alternate that I planned to walk anyway, became the official route for that time. The last week of walking was some of the hardest I think I have ever done. With over 20,000 ft of elevation gain in 88 miles it edges out the toughest section of the PCT for verticality. Luckily I had figured 15 miles a day for this last segment instead of my usual 20. That helped a lot and meant I didn't run out of food. Still with all it's intensity, the last section was also some of the most spectacular and exhilarating of the trail so far.
My gear suffered over the course of the two months I was hiking. My hammock's zipper quit working and a hole developed in the fabric. My gaiters and pants and all my socks got holes in them. I had to switch out my stove, my pack fabric started do disintegrate due to age, my electronics bag came apart, my water bags and filter need to be replaced, and a rib on my umbrella broke. In other words, most of my gear failed in some way. So I am re-examining my kit for the next leg of this trip and will be replacing and/or improving on each item. I will chronicle all that when I blog for next years continuation of the CDT.
Finally, I personally did pretty well for an old guy. I didn't get any blisters. My knees complained from time to time, but never failed me. Likewise, my ankles and feet held up well. I had assorted soreness and pain everyday, but nothing so bad that a day or two of rest couldn't fix. So I feel lucky to be able to continue this kind of activity as I approach my 70th year.
For me it was a daring journey and one that was rewarding in many ways. Daring, because, the trail can be obscure and there are so many options to get lost. Also, because the terrain is so rugged and unforgiving and a lot of hard work went into training and actually hiking the trail. Rewarding, because, it was fun to do all the planning and calculating and gear making for the trip and then carry the plan out and use the gear. It was interesting to see land roll out before me in ways that were so much different than what I had imagined. Of course the great friendships and chance meeting of fellow hikers added an additional dimension to the trek. And hiking with Cappuccino was a true highlight of the journey. Patience, the length of a mile, setting and meeting goals, perseverance, and all the intangibles of a long trail trek were learned anew. Again I re-affirmed that The Journey Is The Reward!
Thanks for following along! I will return to this space in November to start the Continental Divide Trail - 2019 blog as I prepare for the next section of the CDT. So, see you then.
SlowBro's Continental Divide Trail Journey
"I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days." -Daniel Boone
"The Journey IS The Reward" -SlowBro
"If you feel like quitting, just keep walking." -Gypsy Spirit
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