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Buck30 - Great Divide Route Journal - 2016

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Jul 6, 2016
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, Jul 1st, 2016
Start: Laredo, Texas
End: Laredo, Texas
Daily Distance: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 2,003
Journal Visits: 28,771
Guestbook Views: 205
Guestbook Entrys: 8

Last PLB Location

Great Divide Route Map

(Click image for full size)


Day minus 4

I've been a bit loathe to do a journal for this trail, but have finally caved to myself. In a few days I'll be leaving for the Great Divide Trail, an 800 mile hiking route through the Canadian Rockies. I was actually going to hike this trail 2 years ago, but for various reasons probably noted in one of my journals back then, I ended up not hiking it. It's the one trail I haven't hiked in North America that I've been really dying to hike. I definitely wasn't supposed to hike it this year. Instead I was supposed to be riding my bicycle through South America for 9 months except that I was hit by a car in Colombia within my first week. I landed on my wrists and couldn't ride anymore but fortunately I'm alive and even able to hike. For me, it was an extrordinarily disappointing moment for many reasons too long to go through here, but this year will still turn out to be pretty great. I've got a long list of cool hikes the rest of this year.

Since being hit by the car, I spent 2 months on the Appalachian Trail. I needed to just do something on short notice. I didn't want to sit at my parents and wallow in my little world of disappointment so as soon as a I landed back in the US, I booked a flight to Springer for a few days later. I've already done the AT twice so I knew it wouldn't exactly be groundbreaking, but I like walking and figured it would be a nice way to sort out my head and listen to a lot of podcasts. The AT is pretty much a cluster-fk these days, but with a little effort I was able to enjoy a peaceful hike for a 1,000 miles to Harpers Ferry. Then I spent some time with some very good old friends (Cory, a very close friend from highschool, Mike my college roommate and Mark my good friend from back in my second year at EY in DC). It's so hard these days to see people from way back so it was really great to spend some time with them and their families. Lately, I've spent the last 2 weeks at my sister's in Laredo, Texas. My 2 beautiful nieces are keeping me quite exhausted, I feel like hiking 20 miles a day will feel easy compared. Other than the 100+ daily temperature, it's been a ton of fun to be with everyone, including my parents who came in for a week.

The AT was really just to kill some time until I could start the Great Divide Trail (GDT). I remember that Li once told me that the Hayduke was the best desert trail ever and the GDT was the best mountain trail ever. The Hayduke did turn out to be the best desert trail ever so I'm pretty sure the GDT will be the best mountain trail ever. I feel like the story of the GDT is a long one but in short, it was kind of created in the 60's and 70's, went defunct and has now only been revived in the last few years. Up until a few years ago, you could count on one hand the number of hikers hiking it in any given year, but the last couple years the trail has seen a bit of an explosion, but not too crazy, maybe somewhere near 20 hikers a year as a guess.

I've been trying to keep the GDT as much of a surprise as I can. On the one had, it's nice to be prepared and there is a lot more info these days, but on the other hand, the more I read, the more the trail no longer becomes a surprise. At this point, I pretty much limited myself to reading Wired's GDT blog while on the AT and then just recently keeping up with any trail condition type stuff on the GDT's Facebook page.

I'm pretty stoked for this trail. It might not come off that way in the writing, I've become a bit jaded since I'm able to hike a lot every year, but trust me, I'm excited. I just find it hard to outwordly express that excitement with superlatives.

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Journal Photo

Great Divide Trail

The Great Divide Trail traverses the continental divide between Alberta and British Columbia, wandering through the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rocky Mountains for more than 1200 kilometers.


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