So in case you missed it, I've decided to hike the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail from The New Mexico / Mexico border to Glacier National Park on the Canadian / US border.
I wanted to get a post up and put out a bit more detail of what I'll be doing and why I'm doing it. It's a fairly large commitment for myself and Kris, so as much as our blog posts are to tell the story they will also serve to help us keep track.
If you didn't see it here's my annoucement.
As many of you know, Kris and I worked as camp hosts in the San Juan National Forest over the summer. During that time I made an effort to learn about the area we were in so when campers asked I could sound somewhat intelligent. We gathered all the brochures we could find and during dinner we would sit out and read about the area. The sheer number of these was a bit overwhelming, There's a lot to do in southwest Colorado. Among the pamphlets was a map from the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and I became fascinated with the CDT.
I would spend dinners staring at the map and wondering what it was like up there. We all have seen the photos and photographer in me was chomping at the bit. We had taken a couple of trips "up the hill" and had been to several trailheads along the way. I began thinking about places to visit, journeys that could be taken, and my restlessness began to rise. Staring at the map made me a bit more curious about our immediate surroundings. The campground we were hosting was lightly used during the season, there was time for adventures.
We would have to either travel into town for internet access, a 45 mile round trip, or climb up the ridge behind the campground about 700 feet up to get enough of a cell signal to connect. So for about at least a dozen times during our stay I would climb up and down the side of a mountain to update emails, check on the status of sites we have, and most importantly download Netflix episodes. The climb, challenging at first, became mostly easy by the end of our stay there.
And at the end of every one of these climbs was dinner with the map.
So I began doing more research on the CDT, from beginning to end. The history, the alternates, and the route itself. Once we left CO and came to our winter stop for the year, I began study and learning more about it. In our travels, Kris and I have crossed its path at least a dozen times. We watched videos of past hikers on the trail and became more familiar with names like the Texas Pass, Knapsack Col, and the Chinese Wall.
This year is the CDT's 40th anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, and more personally for me the 30th anniversary of my father's passing. My father introduced me to camping and it seemed as fitting a way to remember him as anything might be. I know he liked it because it was a cheap vacation, I liked it because I got to go to some cool places. And the CDT looks as it has a ton of cool places.
There are other motivations for doing this. But that is for another time, another post. There is work to be done, and so it goes...