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

Bruce Ward bruce at cdtrail.org
Tue Oct 2 12:18:22 CDT 2007

Bruce Ward from the CDTA here. Not sure where Glen gets the impression
we do not want the Trail in Wilderness. We have spoken very adamantly
about our focus on the "primitive and challenging" nature of the CDT
that we are striving for. We also have spoken clearly about our position
that the Trail and Wilderness are compatible even though some would not

As a bit of additional background, we were formed to assist the land
management agencies in the efforts to complete, maintain and protect the
CDT utilizing volunteers and private sector support. It is important to
understand that while one route may appear to be preferable to another
from a thru hikers standpoint there are a variety of archeological,
political, environmental and private property issues that must be dealt
with to ensure the long term viability of the route.

While there are infinite ways to travel from Canada to Mexico, there
will ultimately be one congressionally designated Trail and the CDTA,
the leading non-governmental partner, with the help of the land
managers, local grassroots organizations, thousands of volunteers and
funding from a wide variety of sources will work to be sure that there
is a world class Trail that generations to come will value and
appreciate. It is also important to understand that while we admire the
commitment and perseverance of all those who undertake the entire trail
our work must truly be to create a "Trail for All Americans" and our
international visitors.

We invite you to join us in this historic undertaking and appreciate
your interest in helping.

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
" I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to
the exclusion of ...cooperation with others, but with the strength of
conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, the chances are
you'll be a person worthy of your own respects. "

- Neil Simon, (b. 1927)
American playwright, screenwriter 

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of glen fleag
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 8:17 PM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [cdt-l] David Horton's planned speed hike

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

There's the CDTSociety's  :   Jim Wolfe's route which is probably the
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
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
me off from his recommendations)

There's mine:  Which changes every time  i hike it     and THAT's what
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
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
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
most of my friends have, simply cause they were northbounders and there
too much snow)

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

Red desert (of course i skipped most of CO which has many choices
  but the Red Desert area of WY has lots of choices also.   cut through
middle (not much water but probably not a concern for a supported hike)
to Rawlins and then cut through the middle (more water but of poor
  or go the northerly route through the mtns.  (Probably the most scenic
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
all the known routes and found out later we were close but theres' so
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
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
   And once again, you have to take what they give you for grizzly
as well as snow and bridges.
I am always a bit bummed when i see people more and more going out at
Chief Mountain takeout on the border as it makes for a boring, in the
non scenic finish to a great trail.   when the Waterton Lakes finish
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

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
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
sunrises then they will and see more wildlife because you will be out
when the wildlife is busy.

Have fun and hopefully i didn't piss too many people off with my ideas
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
>previously set the speed record on the Long Trail, AT, and PCT.   I
>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
>2700 miles.
>I know I have a lot to learn and I look forward to learning from many
>I love the trails

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