[cdt-l] GDT

Lisa Campbell northerncadence at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 25 16:16:39 CST 2007

Please add me to your email contact list for sending info on the GDT hiking 
route as well as the Jasper to Yukon extension.
at: northerncadence at hotmail.com

>Here is my take on the GDT. It's an incredible hike. I didn't take any 
>I used Dustin's book and it is all you need. You lose the trail 
>and his GPS Coordinates will bring you back. Several times I had to
>bushwhack to get back to one of his points--no fun very thick tangles in
>some areas. The biggest problem is the clear cuts and that is where 
>book is golden. Much of the Crown Land is heavily cut and log roaded. The
>people I talked to along the trail said it was because the Americans have
>such an appetite for their timber. A majority of the trail goes through
>protected areas.
>The difference you will notice from the CDT is bigger water and more bears.
>I had two crossings I could not make at the trail proper--had to work up
>toward headwater to find a safe crossing-- and two Grizzly encounters. 
>scat and mud prints are a very common sight. Let me give you a sure fire
>cure. I had a big male grizzly outside my Akto tent at Dutch Creek, which 
>Crown Land and heavily cut over.
>No-see-ums were swarming about me en masse as I hung my food bag on the
>opposite side of the creek. On most nights I would sleep under my rain
>shelter only. With this horde of insects, I decided it would be wise to
>erect my tent inside the rain-fly if I wanted a good night's sleep. I piled
>everything near the tent, threw it all inside, dove in myself and zipped 
>mesh door behind me.
>It was fortunate that the bugs were menacing that evening, forcing me into
>the added protection of my fine-screened inner tent. I awoke suddenly in 
>early morning hours to a grunting sound outside my tent. With the fly open 
>had a clear view of a large male grizzly pacing back and forth, shaking his
>head and grunting as if he were irritated. Instead of grabbing my bear 
>I grabbed my camera and completely opened the aperture in hopes of getting
>some pictures in the low light. I held it against the fine mesh tent wall
>and shot a roll of film. After exhausting the film I became concerned and
>started thinking about items that were still in my pack next to me in the
>tent vestibule. Fragrant things that should have been in the food bag, like
>baby wipes and toothpaste, were still in pack pockets and might be reason
>for this abrupt wake-up call. I decided it would be smart to subtly let the
>bear know I was in the tent, if he hadn't figured it out already. I first
>cleared my throat. When that had no effect I coughed a couple times very
>loudly. The bear continued to pace and violently shake his head. What I did
>next could be better protection than bear spray. It worked so well I have
>had thoughts of sharing the procedure with the Forest Service. I took a 
>breath and began to sing as loud as I could, *"I'm in the mood for love.
>Simply because you're near me. Funny but when you're near me. I'm in the
>mood for love."*
>That bear went up the trail like a rocket leaving the Cape. He must have
>thought, "This guy not only smells bad, he's horny." Never saw him again.
>The only other one I had to deal with personally was in the White Goat
>Wilderness. I do a lot of Robert Service poetry, especially "Bessie's Boil"
>works as well if not better than my musical selections. I hiked in what the
>Canadians were calling "The Year of the Bear" so they may have stocked the
>area with more bruins for the celebration.
>I use a zip ztove so know nothing about alcohol. I had no problem finding
>Crown Royal. In fact the last time I got a lot of heat (pun intended) from
>this list was when I said I used a zip ztove. Scathing posts about me using
>up endangered resources like ground litter--as if fueled stoves run on
>resources that have no impact.
>I don't want this to sound too much like my attitude on trespass, BUT--If
>you can stay on schedule from Waterton to Jasper your better packers than 
>I told Dustin from the get-go that was impossible. He, of course, had to
>take the official stance that you pick your stops and stop at your picks 
>I think he realizes how impractical that is. I did the trail in 30 days, 21
>of which were rain. I paid for my extended backcountry permit in Waterton
>(price has probably changed). I had to tell them every campsite I would use
>on each day. I did try hard to do that to keep myself on schedule. I had
>limited time. Unfortunately I never stayed in the right one once. Seldom
>found other hikers in any campsites (July 3rd to Aug 1st). Never found an
>occupied warden cabin.
>For me the toughest part of the trail was the day out of the Crossings...
>Actually this is probably going to be too lengthy for a list that isn't 
>about this trail. Send me a snail mail address and I will send you a pile 
>stuff I have. I think I have your personal email. I will work up a post and
>get it off to you in the next couple days. Glad to answer any questions. I
>have been planning the next leg from Jasper to the Yukon. I did a story in
>my paper about three guys who did a 23 day--622 miles--from Kivalina on the
>Chukchi Sea, to the Dalton Highway without food drops. So I know it's
>possible but one of my attractions to LDH is filling my face when I find
>real food. --Keep Smilin', Dick E. Bird

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