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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: Jul 6, 2013
Date: Fri, Jul 5th, 2013
Entry Visits: 2,561
Journal Visits: 19,519
Guestbook Views: 2,115
Guestbook Entrys: 47
Here we go yet again. I'm writing this entry on the plane flying from Los Angeles to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. If you've read my previous journals you'll know I have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2009 and the Appalachian Trail last year. In 2011 I was on my merry way to thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail when I got sick just after entering the Wind River Range in Wyoming. As it turned out, I think I had altitude sickness although at the time that was too hard to believe after I'd just spent almost a month above 13,000 ft and the Winds were in the 10,000 range. After bailing out to Pinedale, I was eventually faced with the disappointing but inevitable decision that there really wasn't enough time to finish without risking getting caught in early snowfall further north. Hence, I decided to suspend the hike and come back another day. That day has now arrived!
I've got a shuttle arranged to pick me up at the Jackson Hole airport and take me to Pinedale where I'll stay the night at a hotel. I've sent a package to the Outdoors Store in Pinedale that contains all the things that I couldn't carry on the airplane so I didn't have to check my pack. Talking of gear, I've got the same setup as l used on the AT. Although my pack was a little beat up, I was very impressed with how it performed and I sent ZPacks a note of highly positive feedback. The owner, Joe, responded by asking me to send it back wherein he completely reconditioned it and sent me a few spare parts as extras. I insisted on paying him for this but he was adamant that it was part of the service and he would not hear of it. So I have absolutely no qualms about putting in a plug for ZPacks for not only exceptional lightweight equipment but outstanding after sales service as well.
My last CDT journal entry was Day 99 so I thought I'd continue on from that numbering system. That way just subtracting a hundred from the title will give the number of days on this second long section and the total will represent how long it's taken me since leaving the Mexican border, less of course the nearly two year sabbatical.
Despite the logical rationale and common sense in deciding to suspend the hike in 2011, it nevertheless has just nagged at me ever since that maybe I could have been carried on and finished the CDT in one go. So this day has been a long time waiting for and I'm not only excited but very determined. But I'm experienced enough and realistic enough to know that anything could happen so I'm not counting my chickens yet. After all, who would have anticipated altitude sickness so late in the hike last time, nor for that matter the Lyme disease I got on the AT, although I fought through that not really knowing what was causing the lethargy towards the end of the trek. The good news is that I'm now fully recovered and I've been doing some training locally, although certainly not enough - can there ever be enough training?
As with previous exploits I will update my daily position using the Spot device and you can follow my "virtual breadcrumbs” by clicking the link to the map. Journal updates will be spotty as I have to save them up until I reach a location where there is either cell coverage or WiFi. I suspect that this may be the only entry for a while as my next resupply is a resort lodge out in the wilds so it might be the northern part of Yellowstone at Old Faithful village before I get any connection in about ten days from the start. Wyoming and Montana are much more remote than the AT so sorry for the reduced service. But remember you're getting what you're paying for.
All the plans getting to Pinedale worked to perfection and I got to fly over the Winds on the way in to Jackson Hole. There didn't seem to be much snow left so that was a good sign. At the outfitters I ended up a getting a can of bear spray - a just in case precaution that I have procrastinated over for some time. I'm not against taking the precaution it's just that it weighs nearly a pound. I guess if I need to use it I'll think it was worth its weight in gold and if I don't then it was an unnecessary lead weight. The guy in the shop told me I was unlikely to encounter any snow but the bugs are really bad right now. Consequently, I bought a head net as well. So much for the ultra light approach.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Part Quatre
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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