[cdt-l] David Horton's planned speed hike

glen fleag fiddleheadpa at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 1 21:16:49 CDT 2007

Hello David and welcome to the CDT.
We first met at one of your masochist races (91) and then I contacted you a 
few times when i was attempting a long run/hike in 2001/2002

Anyway it's good (IMO) that you are doing this BUT, of course there will 
always be some controversy over this "official" thing.
  Many of us CDT hikers don't want the trail to be a continous marked 
footpath and enjoy the CDT for what it is: a hike to test your skills in map 
reading, bushwhacking, water finding, route creating, and sometimes: how far 
can i go before i have to head to town, among some.

Of course there are lots of "official trails"

Theres the CDTA   (people who prefer to leave it out of wilderness areas)

There's the CDTSociety's  :   Jim Wolfe's route which is probably the best 
in terms of putting the trail where it belongs in terms of scenery, 
wilderness, water sources, etc.

Theres Jonathon Ley's :   The one that i believe most thru-hikers now take 
because it's a cheaper option buying the maps.

Theres Backpacker Magazine (that dirt bike and 4 wheeler mag that is trying 
to create their own route for some reason)

There's Ray Jardines (i remember he skipped a ton of beautiful scenery in NM 
so he could go past a Howard Johnsons near Grants, which completely turned 
me off from his recommendations)

There's mine:  Which changes every time  i hike it     and THAT's what makes 
the CDT the BEST!

There's a hundred other peoples.

And there's yours.    I hope you do lots of research cause you have a lot of 

The start:   (not only 3 different places for northbounders,  but immedietly 
you have actual divide (private land), road walk (get used to that), and 
some semi marked trail through desert that may get you good and lost right 
in the git-go.

Through the Gila,

Tierra Amarillo vs Jicarilla vs the hiway,

Creede cutoff (i understand neither Brian Robinson nor Squeaky took it but 
most of my friends have, simply cause they were northbounders and there was 
too much snow)

Coming into Winfield there's a few different possible routes,  (tincup, snow 

Red desert (of course i skipped most of CO which has many choices everyday)  
  but the Red Desert area of WY has lots of choices also.   cut through the 
middle (not much water but probably not a concern for a supported hike)  go 
to Rawlins and then cut through the middle (more water but of poor quality)  
  or go the northerly route through the mtns.  (Probably the most scenic and 
best but longer)

Through yellowstone: you have to go where they let you as there's often 
grizzly closings

Out of Mack's Inn;   Jim Wolfe probably has the best here

Out of Lima (we searched for over a day to find our friend Sly in 2002 on 
all the known routes and found out later we were close but theres' so many 
different ways to go.)

Anaconda cutoff:   Again, not as close to the divide, or wilderness but 
probably the route that most take (I believe)

Through the "Bob"  (my favorite section)   but so many choices  (in 2002, we 
took a westerly route that was awesome because of too much snow (in July)   
not official but compromises need to made on this trail almost daily.

Then of course through the most scenic NP in the lower 48:  Through Glacier! 
   And once again, you have to take what they give you for grizzly reasons 
as well as snow and bridges.
I am always a bit bummed when i see people more and more going out at the 
Chief Mountain takeout on the border as it makes for a boring, in the trees, 
non scenic finish to a great trail.   when the Waterton Lakes finish makes 
for THE MOST SPECTACULAR finish of any of the big 3!
(and there's a restaurant in the Canadian town there that has caribou on the 

Anyway, I'm not trying to turn you away from your goal of holding (at 
different times)  records for the 4 most popular trails in the US (west 
coasters might argue the LT vs so many good ones in the west)

I think it's a grand goal,   but i do believe you will have to do a lot of 
research and count on getting lost  quite a bit.    Possibly you'll have 
people along who know the trail and will take you their favorite way.

It's a great trail.   I know that you will get some flack from folks who 
don't like doing it fast.  I also know that you will catch more sunsets and 
sunrises then they will and see more wildlife because you will be out there 
when the wildlife is busy.

Have fun and hopefully i didn't piss too many people off with my ideas and 
thoughts.     fiddlehead

Hi to all of you on the cdt-l.   I am planning on doing the CDT in the
>summer of 2008.  I am a ultra runner who lives in Lynchburg, VA.  I have
>previously set the speed record on the Long Trail, AT, and PCT.   I plan
>on starting the CDT around June 5-10, 2008 at the Mexican border.  I
>know that Squeaky set the record of 75 days in 2005 unsupported.   I
>plan on doing it supported somewhere around 65 days, plus or minus 5
>days, depending on the length of the trail.
>I know that you are thinking, how can you set a record on a trail that
>is not complete or has various routes?  I plan on hiking the official
>trail as much as possible and not taking any shortcuts.
>How long is the trail if I do it this way??   I hear the CDTA saying it
>is 3100 miles.   When Squeaky and Flyin Brian did it, they both reported
>2700 miles.
>I know I have a lot to learn and I look forward to learning from many of
>I love the trails

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