[cdt-l] To Stimulate Discussion

FJ ephja at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 15 21:57:03 CST 2006

Not too much discussion being generated.  Here's my 2 cents ===> sidewinder

1. What did you expect before you hiked the CDT?  Did the trail live up to 
your expectations?

I really think the CDT lived up to everything it was billed to be.  It was more remote and isolated.  It was a navigational challenge and it was truly rewarding.  All reasons why I went out there.

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3.  What do you wish you had known before you hiked?  What did you know, but 
didn't really pay attention to that perhaps you should have?  What were you 
told about the trail that turned out to be wrong?

I knew that the San Juans had a low snow year.  However, even a late snow in San Juans melts slower than the snow here along the Front Range.  The section between Chama & Pagosa Springs far more difficult that I had expected even with the snow.

The trail turned out to be much better marked in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming than I had expected.  Other than a few sections, I thought it was marked adequately.

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6.  Would you/will you do the CDT again?  What would/will you do 

I would love to do it again.  However, I will probably have to do it in sections.  I would also make sure that I took more time to get through the San Juans and the Wind River Range.

I definitely would never go back to Salmon.  There were better choices I could have made for resupply in that area.

7.  Favorite and/or least favorite Trail towns?

I really didn't like Rawlins.  I felt like the town was dying.  Everything was dreary.  Nobody seemed exceptionally friendly there.  Maybe it was my mood after having walked 287 into town.  Maybe it was the rain.  Whatever it was, I didn't have a good feeling about being there.  It was also really spread out.

8.  Good/bad wildlife encounters?

Can you believe that I didn't see a single mountain goat the whole trail.  No griz either.  Dammit.

9.  Best/worst part about hiking the CDT?

After taking 7 days to walk through the San Juans from Wolf Creek Pass to Lake City, I was exhausted.  It was by far the most physically, mentally and navigationally challenging thing I have ever done.  I did it alone for the most part.  However, the views and sights were spectacular.  Someone in Lake City said I looked like a man ready to quit.  I replied that all I needed was a bit of rest and a lot of food.  I was so excited to get back out there.

10.  Any rants or raves?

I was really ticked off at the Forest Service near Grants.  I understand the need to close an area due to high fire danger.  But if they are going to force people to walk on a road instead of the trail, some basic information should be available.  Nobody at the ranger post could tell me how long the road walk was.  Nobody could tell me if springs located near the road where running or not.  This information would have been immensely useful.

11.  Were you lonely or did you enjoy the solitude? Did you have solitude?

I was able to be by myself whenever I wanted.  I probably spent about 20 percent of the nights camping with others.  There seemed to be more people grouped up SoBo this year than in years past.

12.  Any words of wisdom for next year's hikers?  Final thoughts??

The suggestion to carry some type of map that gives you a larger picture than Ley's maps is great.  It allowed me to pick out a way to continue on foot when I chose to take a lower route.  Ley's maps are great but knowing what surrounds them comes in handy.

I probably would not use Big Sandy Lodge as a resupply.  I think you could go between Dubois and South Pass City without too much problems.

Good luck and enjoy it.  It is a fabulous hike.

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