[Cdt-l] Well marked? Hah!

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 29 21:32:45 CST 2010

You shoulda been there in 1999 - It IS well marked now - comparatively.  
The operative statement in your post is - One really has to pay attention to navigation.
Congratulations - and welcome to the Society of the Frequently Lost 
Walk softly,


> Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 17:04:26 -0500
> From: rick.ostheimer at sbcglobal.net
> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: [Cdt-l] Well marked? Hah!
> Chance,
> I hiked from Crazy Cook to Steamboat Springs in '10 and plan on picking 
> up the hike nobo this summer at the end of June. The CDT is NOT well 
> marked. On BLM lands in NM, there were posts about every quarter mile 
> some of which had blown down or been knocked down by cows. You could 
> barely see from one to the other and frequently would have to go beyond 
> the post you were at before you spotted the next one. Occasionally 
> there were blazes cut into pines in the wooded sections. In many places 
> it is cross country. Sometimes there was a herd path, but frequently 
> there wasn't much of one. Since it was a high snow year, in S Colorado 
> the trail was frequently hidden under the snow. That said, the portion 
> of the trail that coincides with the Colorado Trail is usually better 
> marked----except, where turns off one dirt road onto another aren't 
> followed by a sign to let you know you've turned onto the right path. 
> Hah! I had two of those the same day, but at least the afternoon 
> thunderstorm was over the trail dirt road rather than the longer road 
> that I was following.
> I was rushed in my final prep work and when I loaded OOO's GPS track, 
> the Delorme software kindly dropped a lot of points so it would all 
> fit. It did warn me, but I didn't realize how much that would degrade 
> the value of the GPS. (I've fixed that indiscretion for this year.) I 
> misplaced the trail frequently due to not checking my map frequently. 
> After learning the hard way, when I finally made a point of orienting 
> myself on the maps relative to the topography I could see around me 
> frequently, the "misplacing" of the trail diminished. I learned to 
> double check on the maps at every trail and/or road intersection, as 
> every time I failed to do so, it seemed I'd be heading the wrong way. 
> One really has to pay attention to navigation. I carried an MP3 player, 
> but only felt secure in listening to it on long road-walk sections like 
> the trek into and out of Pie Town. Also, I found that the Wolf Guides 
> were very difficult to translate from sobo (as they're written) to nobo 
> (as I was travelling).
> I guess what I'm saying is, if you and your lady plan for some alone 
> time, you need to both be comfortable with navigating with map and 
> compass, and have your own sets of maps. I second the 4 eyes are better 
> than 2 comment. The brief times when I was hiking with others tended to 
> be times I didn't get misplaced, because one or the other of us 
> questioned a wrong turn quickly and we put our heads together to 
> interpret the maps.
> In spite of these navigation difficulties, the CDT was the wildest, most 
> beautiful of the three long distance trails I've been on to date.
> Handlebar
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