Life is not a project, but a journey to be enjoyed.

Catherine Pulsifer
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Later this June, I’ll be dropped off in Montana and begin heading south on the Continental Divide Trail, a pathway that one hiker describes as, “Raw, wild, remote and unfinished; it is a trail that will make use of all the skills of an experienced backpacker. It is also a trail that is beautiful, stunning and perhaps the most rewarding of the major long-distance hiking trails.”

The total distance is approximately 3,100 miles, though most thru-hikers – including this one – will not stay on the official trail, cutting here and adding there, including the Teton Traverse and the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range among others. The breakdown of the “official” trail goes like this: 2100 miles across 20 National Forests, 380 across 13 BLM areas and 280 across four National Parks.

The highest point on the CDT is Gray’s Peak in Colorado (14,270′) and the lowest point is at the northern terminus: Waterton Lake, Glacier National Park (4,200′), although due to Covid, I’ll be starting from Chief Mountain in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation on the east side of the park. The total elevation gain is 457,000 feet!

It’s a dryer trail than the PCT, so there will be logistics to plan as far as water carries and caches. In addition, the distance between towns is about 5-7 days, so I’ll be weighted down. It should take me 4 1/2 months to walk. Now it’s your turn to say “Kia kaha and happy trails!”

I wrote this right after I had both hips replaced, caught covid and was unsure I'd hike again.
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Summit Orthopedics gave me new hips plus financial support for my upcoming CDT hike.
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