[cdt-l] TrailFest Update/CDTA commentary

Bruce Ward bruce at cdtrail.org
Tue Jul 18 13:10:04 CDT 2006

Thanks Mike, greatly appreciated and well said.

Bruce Ward
Executive Director
Continental Divide Trail Alliance
PO Box 628 
Pine, CO 80470
Tel.  303  838 3760
Cell: 303 917 1476
Fax: 303 838 3960
Shipping Address:
13700 Highway 285
Pine CO 80470

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Mike DiLorenzo
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 3:23 PM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [cdt-l] TrailFest Update/CDTA commentary

So this past weekend I was a part of TrailFest.

I did some work creating some new tread up on Cottonwood Pass, 20+ miles

west of Buena Vista, CO, on a new stretch of trail that when completed,
might rival the Vasquez Peak area for perhaps the most spectacular high 
alpine traverse in northern CO.  The CDTA, USFS, and Youth Corps are 
rerouting the CDT high above where it currently lies on the west side of
Divide (south of Texas Creek and north of Tin Cup pass).  The trail will

eventually stay high (11-12,000+ feet) and away from the motorcycles on
existing CDT in this area.  In addition there is other re-route work
in the Sawatch to take the trail off roads and motorized trails.

TrailFest was a fun time, complete with several nice trips on the Divide

(including mountain biking on the Monarch Crest Trail and also between
Elmo and Hancock, AND even a climb from Twin Lakes south over Hope Pass
down the other side - just to give folks a small taste of the brutality
the CDT has to offer).  Good food and music rounded out the event (as
did a 
soak at the Cottonwood Hot Springs on the way back up to the pass on 
Saturday evening).

But I got the feeling that the CDTA, and many of their members and 
supporters are out of touch with thru hiking.  They compared TrailFest
Trail Days, but there were no thru hikers present, most everyone was
the Front Range of Colorado. The CDTA doesn't seem to be too concerned
thru hiking.  But this isn't their goal.  They seem to differ from the
and PCTA in that they don't focus on thru hiking the trail. Their view
the trail being complete involves a well graded 18" wide single track 
running continuously from Mexico to Canada, never mind that many people
already walked the CDT.  But this is fine.  It might help to maintain
aura of mystery that the CDT currently holds and that many of us
But what the CDTA is in touch with is fund raising and trail work.  The
is flush.  There is no doubt about that, and the way they took care of
volunteer crew shows that.  And for anyone who's every done trail work,
know how great it is to be well fed after a hard day of moving rocks, 
shoveling dirt, and cutting trail.  They even had beer.  Amazing.

But more importantly what the CDTA does have is a HUGE committed group
volunteers. The people I worked with had nearly all done other projects
the CDTA.  They keep coming back!  Maybe it's the food and beer but
folks, while they may be out of touch with thru hiking, care about the
and are volunteering, time and time again, to make sure the CDTA reaches

their goal of an 18" wide, well graded trail, that runs the length of
divide from Canada to Mexico.  And that's noble.  I heard some mention
the CDTA wants to complete the CDT by 2008.  Perhaps they don't want to
New Zealand finish the Te Araroa trail  before the CDT is done?  A
American pride maybe?  I dunno.  But it's a noble goal, and with the 
resources at their disposal, they might just get it done.   I just hope
don't insist on marking it all with 2x6 inch blazes...

$0.02 on the CDTA and TrailFest.


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