On July 1, 2006, I was at the northern terminus of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) located in Glacier National Park. A long brown path lead before me... taking me wherever I chose. In this case, I chose the Mexican border at Antelope Wells. Four months and many footsteps later, I arrived.

My journey on the Continental Divide Trail was perhaps the most difficult of all the long trails I've hiked, and perhaps the most frustrating as well. It is a trail that is not completed, involves frequent route finding, and is still rough around the edges.

The CDT was also perhaps the most rewarding of the trails I've hiked:

  • I saw a grizzly bear in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
  • I heard the howl of wolves in the wild.
  • I cherish a memory of being on top of Temple Pass in the Winds one glorious morning.
  • I stood on a ridge in Montana and Idaho and saw NOTHING around but for the mountains.
  • I looked over the snow-covered Colorado Rockies and again fell in love with my chosen home.
  • I caught the most intense sunrise of my life in New Mexico, as I started my last full day on the trail.

The rawness, intensity, wildness, and the rough edges are indeed what made my time on the trail so rewarding.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Why the Continental Divide Trail?
  • The Gear Used
  • NOTES
  • Photo Essay
  • Final Thoughts

# WORDS: 1770
# PHOTOS: 18

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