Monday 5 August 2019

Thinking about The Continental Divide Trail and my forthcoming Colorado Rockies walk

At the US/Canada border at the start of the Continental Divide Trail, 1985

"Bear tracks, some grizzly, on the trail". Journal entry, August 5, 1985.

I'd just left Yellowstone National Park for the Teton Wilderness when I saw these tracks. It was the sixty-eigth day since I set off and I'd walked 920 miles south from Canada. I still had over 2,000 miles to go. The Continental Divide Trail was proving a glorious, challenging adventure.

Soon I wouldn't need to worry about watching for grizzly bears and keeping a clean camp - not a good thing as it meant I'd be in places where the bears had been exterminated. There were still black bears though and wild beautiful mountains and forests.

Camp in the Wind River Range

By the time I reached Southern Colorado over a month later thoughts of grizzly bears were long gone. Snow was now my concern and it caused me to miss much of the CDT itself so I'm going back to finally walk that section this month, as I said in this post

The last week I've been finalising bookings, deciding what gear to take, and finishing off work and other stuff that must be done before I depart. It's all a rush as usual and makes me wonder how I ever planned a six-month walk back in 1985 when it takes this much effort to plan a month long one.

I'll post a gear list once I've made final decisions. Most will be much lighter than in 1985 when my pack weighed 7lbs (3.17kg) and my tent 6lbs (2.72kg).

Somewhere in the woods on the Continental Divide Trail

One big difference will be communications. Back in 1985 I sent postcards to people. That was it. Most of the time no-one knew where I was or how I was doing. There was no internet, no satellite communicator, no smartphone. I'll have both the last two on this walk and I'll be using the first to post pictures and updates whenever I have a signal. I'm sure the walk, though, will be just as exciting.

Camp in the desert, New Mexico, with replacement pack and water bottle after the first ones broke.

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