CDT 2015



In 2015, I thru-hiked the Continental Divide Trail, which runs from Canada to Mexico via Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

I did not love the CDT. This is partly because of the nature of the trail itself, and partly because I had giardia for two months and so felt pretty tired and bummed much of the time. Trail-wise, I found the CDT to be a handful of beautiful sections strung together via a whole lot of filler. (Filler, for me, meaning eroded/poorly routed tread through unrewarding scenery.) Unlike the PCT, the CDT is a relatively young trail, and is still “unfinished”. With time and resources I imagine the CDT will improve a great deal. (Please donate to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.) That being said, if I had known how much filler there would be in its current state, I would not have hiked it. So there you have it. I learned a great lesson in 2015: Only hike the trails you actually want to do, not the trails you want to say you’ve done. That being said, some people LOVE the CDT, just the way it is now. And maybe if I hadn’t had giardia, I would’ve enjoyed it more. Who’s to say? Anyway, here are all my blog posts from the trail. Some of them are kind of dark and/or boring. But some of them are good. Enjoy!

Part One: New Mexico

Day 1: I feel/about/because
Day 2: hangover
Day 3: pyramid mountain and the big flat thing
Day 4: Lordsburgers
Day 5: and then the orcs got us
Day 6: beautiful pine forest yay/roadwalk FTW
Day 7: zero in Silver City
Day 8: down to the magical Gila
Day 9: deep thoughts in the Gila
Day 10: the Gila game
Day 11: lightning and hail and infinite peace
Day 12: snow in May
Day 13: and then there were ribs
Day 14: life is an endless dirt forest service road
Day 15: don’t believe the hype
Day 16: more rural New Mexico magic
Day 17: hermits, pottery and old stone houses
Day 18: surprise rock scrambles and pooping on anthills
Day 19: Grants, ho!
Day 20: pizza on the side of the road and the sawyer sip-sip
Day 21: embrace the suck
Day 22: summer was there all along
Day 23: rock formations of magic
Day 24: leaving the desert behind
Day 25: oh magical mountain wonderland
Day 26: ghost ranch day
Day 27: slow for snow: a zero at Ghost Ranch
Day 28: more gentle hiking in alpine paradise
Day 29: there’s nowhere else to go
Day 30: ridgewalking! ridgewalking!
Day 31: ch ch ch chama
Day 32, 33, 34, 35: WTF are we even doing
Day 36, 37, 38: north to Canada!

Part Two: Montana/Idaho

Day 39 : Magical Montana!
Day 40: high passes and giant burgers
Day 41 : Things could definitely be worse
Day 42: Mystery rashes and broken icecream freezers
Day 43: zero in East Glacier
Day 44: feeling tired in a real bummer of a forest
Day 45: horse trails and grizzly tracks
Day 46: The Bob is great
Day 47: connecting to the moon and all that shit
Day 48: Benchmark Ranch
Day 49: One side Atlantic, one side Pacific
Day 50: and then we were tired
Day 51: F it, let’s take a zero in Lincoln
Day 52: Fresh legs!
Day 53: flies, mosquitoes and PUDs. Yay!
Day 54: Helena
Day 55: Heat wave got me like
Day 56: venus and jupiter
Day 57: Anaconda
Day 58: Back into the mountains, thank god
Day 59: entering the Anaconda-Pintler wilderness
Day 60: grumpies
Day 61: Darby, Montana
Day 62 and 63: a double zero in Darby
Day 64: the Post Office Game
Day 65: more adventures in bummersville
Day 66: choose your own brutality
Day 67: I just want to nap for a hundred years
Day 68: and then we went to Missoula
Day 69: Much relax
Day 70: the longest hitch
Day 71: Out of Leadore, back into the mountains
Day 72: no-one in the history of anything has ever felt as tired as I do right now
Day 73 and 74: and the mystery is solved
Day 75: in the aeroplane over the sea
Day 76: I’m starting to feel like myself again
Day 77: a bushwack and a roadwalk
Day 78: in everything beautiful there is something strange

Part Three: Wyoming

Day 79: Wyoming is gentle and kind
Day 80: old faithful village overwhelm
Day 81: flat trail and hot creeks
Day 82: the kowabunga bandits
Day 83: Dubois!
Day 84: Snow in July
Day 85: a perfect day
Day 86: diamonds on the grass
Day 87: Knapsack Col day
Day 88: George Clooney and Captain Picard
Day 89: Cirque of Towers day/the hardest day
Day 90: Lander, Wyoming!
Day 91: thunderstorms, naps and thai buffets: a zero in Lander
Day 92: the great divide basin of awesomeness
Day 93: I’ve missed the desert
Day 94: an accidental 42 mile day
Day 95: Rawlins
Day 96: the infinite sadness of roadwalking
Day 97: out of the basin, back in the mountains!

Part Four: Colorado

Day 98: Colorado!
Day 99: A shepherd, a sheepdog, and climbing to 12,000 feet
Day 100: Steamboat Springs and the Magical Cabin of Wonder
Day 101: eat everything salty and try to find a laundromat: a zero in Steamboat Springs
Day 102: my second zero in Steamboat springs
Day 103: a side trip up Long’s Peak
Day 104: ridges and thunderstorms: the Colorado experience
Day 105: what kind of nachos
Day 106: the Never Summer Wilderness
Day 107: Granby and Grand Lake
Day 108: Cold Nights and Tired Days
Day 109: not all miles are created equal
Day 110: the magical valley of wonder
Day 111: climbing over castle walls
Day 112 and 113: double zero in Silverthorne/Frisco/Breckenridge
Day 114: the Colorado Trail is a glorious dream
Day 115: Twin Lakes
Day 116: strangers with magic
Day 117: late starts and fidgety days
Day 118: purple ridges and green meadows
Day 119: Salida has a soul
Day 120: coconut soup, a new friend and some gentle trail
Day 121: and then I became one with everything
Day 122: Cochetopa hills in the rain
Day 123: hypothermia rain
Day 124: Lake City
Day 125: birthday yurt!
Day 126: staying high in the San Juans
Day 127: the Weminuche Wilderness
Day 128: a felt cowboy hat and some whiskey
Day 129: no longer grossed out by anything
Day 130: Pagosa Springs
Day 131: 2 Feral 4 Town
Day 132: We all have our vices
Day 133: fin

Continental Divide Trail 2015: Afterword