Coming April 2014 I will begin my second thru-hike. In 2012 I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, and in April I will start off on the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail. I’m determined to not let my health issues (Traumatic Brain Injury and Melanoma) dictate how I live my life. I’m intent on showing others that no matter what “deficit” you’re living with, you can still achieve monumental accomplishments! I want to inspire others through my undertakings that you can do anything you set your mind to!
There have been lots of people who want to help out with my undertaking. So I’ve created a link to donate on the left hand side of this blog. The money will go towards my gear and food. Any donation, no matter how small or big is greatly appreciated! You’ll even receive a postcard while I’m on trail if you email me your address: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow the link on the left to donate!
For those of you unfamiliar with long-distance hiking here’s some info.
The Continental Divide Trail is known in the thru-hiking community as the “King of Trails”. It is considered to be the hardest of the three long distance trails in the United States that make up the Triple Crown of Hiking. To be a triple crown hiker you must hike the entire distance of the Appalachian Trail(AT), Pacific Crest Trail(PCT – which I’ve already done) and The Continental Divide(CDT). There are many differences between all three trails, but a general way to compare them is to say they all scale with difficulty and length(AT–>PCT–>CDT). It’s also hard for me to comment here because I have only thru-hiked the PCT. A good analogy I’ve heard before would be to compare them to education.
Appalachian Trail (Bachelor’s)
Pacific Crest Trail (Master’s)
Continental Divide Trail (Doctorate’s)
The CDT is by far the hardest of the three for many different reasons. The trail is only about 70% complete, so this means you will be road walking in many places on jeep/paved roads. This also means you will be bushwhacking or hiking cross country in many areas because there is no trail. Unlike the AT and the PCT, I won’t necessarily follow along mindlessly on a path, but rather follow a route which I’ll travel near/along. You can in a sense, create your own path. It requires thought and resourcefulness to get where I’ll need to be.
The trail goes through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. I will be backpacking through the Rockies, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Gila Cliff Dwellings, the San Juan’s and many other spots I’m thrilled to be calling my home for the summer.
The number of people that attempt to thru-hike this each year is very minimal compared to the PCT. I think something like a dozen people finish the whole trail every season but this is also hard to say. Every season is vastly different and there seems to be more people hiking every year. Another issue is that this trail is not maintained like the AT or PCT. Cross-country travel and checking my maps and GPS will be vital in this thru-hike.
In short, this trail has more extreme conditions, but also a huge pay off. I’ll get to hike in places that have been untouched by civilization. I’ll get to navigate along one of the largest nature features on the planet(if not THE largest). I can hardly wait to be out covering 20-30+ miles every day in some of the most scenic backcountry our nation has to offer.