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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: May 1, 2018
Date: Fri, Dec 1st, 2017
Entry Visits: 4,162
Journal Visits: 38,102
Guestbook Views: 579
Guestbook Entrys: 21
Not For Beginners!...The Continental Divide Trail In 2018
I think I am finally ready to attempt the CDT. It was the first long trail I thought of doing, back in 2013. Fortunately my son had talked to friends who had some experience with such things. They strongly recommended I do another trail as my first one. The CDT was really not a trail for beginners. It required all the skills of seasoned long distance hikers and still thwarted many of them. So I checked around and found out that they were right. It would be too hard for me. The CDT is not for beginners. Duly admonished I picked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) instead and was glad I did.
That was in 2014. Since then I have also hiked the Colorado Trail (CT) and the Arizona Trail (AZT) and have a pretty good sense of the ins and outs of long distance hiking, resupply, planning, etc. Of course I am not getting any younger, and given the physical demands of the CDT, sooner is probably better than later.
At over 3,000 miles, the CDT takes 5 to 6 months to hike. Unfortunately I won’t be able to hike it all in one go, but my hope is to do it in a couple of big chunks. This is known as Section Hiking and has some definite advantages. Freed to start when conditions might be better, one can avoid some of the more hazardous conditions of the trail like deep snow and avalanche. I will admit it does take some of the edge off.
Nonetheless it will be a challenging endeavor. It seems the CDT is not just one path, but many. Alternate routes abound and unlike other long trails, hikers are encouraged to explore these and make them part of their CDT experience. Some alternate segments are short, a few miles. Others are over a hundred miles long. They all come back to the main trail eventually, but offer different perspectives for each traveler. Also, the tread is not always as clearcut as with the other long distance trails. Map and compass are needed as the trail often just disappears. But there are similarities. Like the PCT and the AZT, there are expanses of desert and scarce water. And like the PCT and CT there is high alpine terrain and snow, requiring other skills. In fact the CT follows the CDT for several hundred miles, so I have already done a short segment of the CDT.
So there you have it. The CDT should prove to be the most demanding trail to date, but also the most interesting. I am looking forward to the challenge and the adventure, but most of all the journey. Part of that journey will be once again chronicling my preparation and training. I will have to shave weight from my pack and see if I can increase my daily mileage. I will have to plan resupply, logistics, and a thousand other details. But the real hurdle is the mental one, and I think I am finally ready to attempt the CDT!
(I plan to blog about my prep more or less weekly and then daily when I am on the trail. See you next week...)
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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