[cdt-l] Wyoming-Colorado Border

jon stewart raincloudtreefarm at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 1 13:23:44 CDT 2007

Congratulations Francis!
 You are making phenomenal  progress!  Based on your rate of travel, I have decided to start  hiking south from Waterton about July 1 in the hopes of meeting you  twice along the trail, once when you are heading north and again when  you rush by me on your southward push to the Mexican border.  By  that time I might be in good enough shape to keep up with you for a  couple days.
 I just returned from Canada after a month's bear  hunt with some Danish hunters.   I do hope indirectly  participating in the killing of four black bears hasn't hindered my  bear karma.  It sounds like the grizzes in and around Banff aren't  taking too kindly to hikers so watch yourself.  I would even  encourage you to add a few ounces of bear spray to your gear after  Yellowstone.  I have been reading an excellent book called Walking  the Wild about a Canadian biologist who walked from Yellowstone to the  Yukon a couple years back.  What he discovered in this 2000 mile  hike is that urbanization, particularly the gentrification of Montana's  large ranches into trophy homes, has forced the grizzlies to leave  their traditional haunts in the valley bottoms and use the ridgetops  where the CDT runs as travel routes between feeding areas.  This  dramatically increases our chances of meeting foraging grizzes along  this 750 mile stretch of trail.
 After again seeing Mr Big's  footprints in the Canadian Chilcotin (see attached photo of my size 12  boot next to one bear print), I have developed a deep respect for these  monsters left over from the last ice age.   They are not the  benign human adapted black bears of the PCT or Appalacian Trail, but a  totally different genius that is being forced to confront hikers  because they are rapidly loosing their traditional lowland habitat to  uncontrolled urbanization in Idaho and Montana. 
 Studying  language tapes and talking aloud may not prove a totally effective  stragegy.  A little backup in pepper spray and a couple of bangers  might provide a higher level of protection given your increased chance  of running into one of these monsters next month.
 Again,  congratualations on your impressive rush northward.  Hope to see  you swatting mosquitoes somewhere in Montana this July.
Francis Tapon <ftapon at yahoo.com> wrote:  
  Jonathan  Ley's map says that the CO-WY border is not well marked for  the Sobos. He's right, but I created a large cairn that's hard to  miss. I'm not a geologist, so I can't say what type of rock I used, but  it's a pinkish rock, so it's easy to see.
  Ley's map advises folks to "whoop it up" when they cross the border. 
  Someone wrote the words "WHOOP" with rocks right next to the border, in honor of Ley's suggestion.
  Good advice!
  Francis Tapon 


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