[Cdt-l] big sky variant

matthew lesniewicz mlesswicz at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 12 18:39:40 CST 2014

reconciled thoughts- 

I would admit my statement was a bit bold in regards to taking it out as an option. Irrational to say the least.
Options are key element of the whole cdt (corridor).  And that's what makes this trail/passage unique onto itself.

Most will never "really" hike the whole proposed official anyways. With that said this leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Obviously there are highlights and sections that most will go for or wished they had.

Personally I think, it was more about going against my gut and prior intentions. (Preference) 
Not hiking my own hike

Buying into the hysteria paradigm of running out of time. The math's not right, you won't be able to zero , you'll have to pull huge miles, the ID section is so far off course, beat the weather ect.........
And this was moderately true, having taking a lot of the longer routes in the crux of a state, Colorado. And a handful zeroes.

The same hysteria that's gathered around snow pack.

The variant clung on to the hearts and minds of a lot of us out there. As a "viable short cut". Not necessarily rather it was interesting terrain.  It was well spoken of though. The debate pursued.

I was sold on the chance to actually go through the heart of yellowstone.  Being disappointed the cdt does not so much.
So yes my friend, in that aspect was worth it. I'm sure rest was nice. Petrified forest, Spanish peaks, Tobacco Roots.

I personally had never looked into the variant in all my pre hike planning. And then found myself setting out for it on a whim. Rearranging mail drops ect.. fusing with printing more maps. Needing "way more backcountry permits". Dealing with others who didn't give a crap about permits. Staging it right with the permits. Sitting in even more tourist villages in yellowstone. Tourist telling they saw grizzly from there cars and here I sludge 200? mi through the back country with no sightings.

Wasting multiple days doing this when I could have been well on my way otherwise. 

Bottom line is I regret getting off the trail early, much more than taking the variant itself. That was secondary and other dynamics played out as well in my result. My hiking partner and funding to name a few.
I don't feel like a failure, rather incomplete.............

Land is land and is all worth while
Can we see possibly see it all

Thanks for the post Brian

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