Continental Divide Thru-Hike – A Journey For The Kids

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West Glacier, MT to Waterton, Canada – September 8 to September 11, 2015 – WOW!

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In the Tour de France, the last day is considered a parade route into Paris as a celebration to the end of a three-week 2,000 mile grueling bike race; considered by many to be the hardest sporting event in the world.  For me, it was the final leg of a five month journey that began on April 15th hiking some 3,000 miles through some of the most remote and scenic countryside found in the United States.  This last leg of my journey was my parade route to celebrate the ending of an epic adventure.

Karen drove 26 plus hours all the way from Michigan to met me along with Natalie and a friend of hers who wanted to be part of this celebration.

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We met at Bowman Lake on the west side of Glacier National Park.  The rain and snow over the last couple of days left several feet of snow at the higher elevations and closed Going To The Sun Road at Logan’s Pass for a couple of days.

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Fortunately, when we began our hike a high pressure system moved in and the weather turned beautiful.  We began our hike late in the day because it was the only time we could get a permit for the route we needed to take. Glacier National Park is by far the hardest park to get back country permits.  They are not nearly as cooperative as Yellowstone where they work with you and have a “Can Do Attitude,” whereas, Glacier loves to tell you what you can’t do.  What Glacier lacks in cooperation, they make up in scenery and wildlife.  It could arguably be defined as the “Hidden Jewel” of all our National Parks.

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Our hike started at the south end of Bowman Lake.  We hiked 7 plus miles to the north end of the lake to our first campsite.  What a change from the rigorous 25 mile days I had to endure the previous several months.  It was great to sleep later in the morning and enjoy breakfast overlooking the mountains, alpine lakes and what remains of some glaciers.  The next day I would climb my last mountain pass (Brown Pass) and it reminded me of how much I loved getting to the top of a pass and seeing the landscape explode around me with high vista, views of the valleys below and neighboring peaks.  We descended down the pass and camped at Francis Lake.

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Francis Lake was not our designated campsite, so we were hoping that we might find a site open and fortunately we did.  I met someone the previous day who worked on a trail crew and told me this was his favorite backcountry site in the entire park and we were not disappointed.

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The weather was improving; it was sunny and approaching 70 degrees, the perfect weather for Natalie to swim.  She can’t pass by an alpine lake without swimming regardless of the weather.  Goat Haunt would be my last backcountry campsite.  The Canadian border is six miles north of this location.  If you are hiking from Canada to the U.S., you need to check in at this location with U.S. customs.

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Goat Haunt is at the South end of Waterton Lake.  The next morning as we packing up our camp we met a couple who took the boat to Goat Haunt from Canada to spend their honeymoon camping at this location.  We hiked north along the west shore of Waterton Lake heading to Canada.  We met two U.S. Border Patrol personnel who were hiking the same trail.  It is interesting that on the United States and Canadian border there is an easement all along the border where the trees and brush have been cleared so anyone crossing the border can be seen.

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Finally, on a beautiful day nearly 150 days from when I started from the Mexican border on April 15th, the “Journey For The Kids” adventure was completed.  What made this day special was having Karen and Natalie with me and knowing that all my friends and family that could not be here were silently celebrating my safe finish.

 

 

Missoula to West Glacier – September 3 to September 6, 2015

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Little did I know when I decided that I would mountain bike to West Glacier, instead of walking the highway due to wildfires, that I would lose the wilderness experience I had become so accustomed to. Instead, biking to West Glacier brought a whole new perspective to the adventure that I was close to completing.

The trek from Missoula to West Glacier was about 200 miles and it would take me right through the heart of Montana with the Mission Mountains to my west and the Swan Mountains to the east.  I started out on a rainy day and it stayed that way all day.

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The day before I left Missoula, Natalie took me on a 12-mile day hike in the Mission Mountains to an alpine lake that was as beautiful as any lake I saw on the CDT. Not exactly how I planned to spend my day off the trail, but it was well worth it.

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I spent my first night in a National Forest Campground and, as usual, a trail angel in the form of the camp host appeared and let me camp at their site and cooked me breakfast in the morning. The next day I biked to a friend of Natalie’s that was a backcountry ranger who lived in an awesome log cabin near the Swan Mountains.  She had a beautiful grove of Ponderosa Pines on her property, my favorite tree. Each of her trees had a tag on them. She said the tags carried a scent that would deter the Pine Bark Beetle. The Pine Bark Beetle has been destroying forest throughout the west. Each scent tag costs $8.00 so it is only practical for use by a homeowner.

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I thought I would spend an hour or so with her but she insisted that I attend a dinner party with her neighbors and spend the night. The next day the weather was unpleasant with winter storm warnings for elevations over 6500′ and 100% chance of rain including heavy downpours.  When I started out in the morning it wasn’t that bad and then I stopped at a small roadside cafe and had lunch.  I met a guy from the Netherlands who was biking the Great Divide, which is considered the biking version of the CDT.

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While we were in the cafe the rain came down so hard it was dangerous to go out.  There were three other people in the café biking the Great Divide too. Two of the individuals were from Switzerland and one was from Norway.  The owner of the cafe let us spend the night in his attached office space to avoid the rain. The fella from Norway was a chef so he cooked us a great pasta dinner. I learned a lot about their culture and I think they really enjoyed my sense of humor when discussing American politics.

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The following four days I biked to West Glacier and then from West Glacier to Bowman Lake which was on the far west side of the park. Bowman Lake was beautiful and remote. A small little village called Polebridge is an iconic landmark that only the regional people really know about. They have the most incredible bakery with Huckleberry Bear Claws you can’t get anywhere else.

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It was a very rough bike ride to Bowman Lake Trailhead and campground; 6 miles of dirt, gravel and rocky road.  The campsites were great with spectacular views of the mountains.  The next day Karen, Natalie and a friend of hers would come to join me on the final 4-day hike to Canada.  Not even a grizzly bear will stop me now.

Modern Day Lewis and Clark – August 30, 2015

First the record May snowfall in Colorado derailed all the CDT hikers and now the fire out west has closed much of the area north of Lincoln to Canada.  For those who have never lived in areas threatened by wildfires, it is a sight to behold.  The sky looks like it is going to rain because of the haze.  It is hard to make out the mountain ranges in the distance and the area smells like a giant campfire.  Often times ash falls from the sky and the air is very dry.  Don’t get me wrong, when it is clear and bright there is not a better place to be than in Montana, but for now it is filled with smoke not only from fires nearby but from the fires in Washington, Oregon and Idaho several hundred miles away.  Colorado too is experiencing the smoke, although they have no active fires in the state.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area (known as the “Bob”) and the Lewis and Clark National Forest is virtually closed due to the numerous fires.  An Indian reservation east of the Bob is being evacuated and several northbound CDT hikers are stuck in Lincoln wondering what to do next.  A trail angel in Lincoln has offered to bus CDT hikers up to the northern section of Glacier National Park to avoid the fire area.  It was suggested the those hikers come back next year to hike in the closed areas to complete their trek.  For me there is no next year; if I don’t complete the CDT this year there is no coming back.  I have come over 2,600 miles and would like to complete the journey.  I feel the real challenge of the CDT is to complete the thru-hike in its entirety the same year.

I don’t want to take away the accomplishment of hikers who hike one section or state per year or those that come back to finish portions they could not do the previous year because of weather, fire, etc.  The real adventure for me is to complete the CDT as I originally planned. Now the question is how do I get from Lincoln or Missoula to Glacier and from Glacier to Waterton, Canada and still have Karen hike the last segment with me.  What better expert to consult with than Natalie who knows more about wilderness logistics than anyone I have ever met.

When she came up with the alternate hike in New Mexico taking us from Chama to Pagosa Springs because of the snow conditions and then jumped me just north of the snow to hike the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming and then back to Pagosa Springs weeks later, well she convinced me of her unique skills in backcountry planning.  She looked at pack rafting down the middle fork of the Flat Head River, something Natalie has done a lot of in Alaska.  Pack rafting utilizes a very light weight raft that you carry on your back along with your backpack and you float/paddle when conditions allow down a river and then hike around either log jams, rapids or falls when present.  This plan was not feasible since the river flows right through the fire areas.

Natalie came up with the following plan so I will not have to hike on the road.  Natalie’s co-worker, Rachel, is giving her bike to me equipped with saddle bags and everything I need to navigate forest service roads around the fire area.  Right now the plan is to bike up to Glacier and then hike the trails that are open, up to the Waterton terminus.   If all goes according to plan, I will meet Karen somewhere in Glacier (Bowman Lake/Logan Pass) and finish the hike almost as scheduled.  One might argue that by biking to Glacier I somehow break the code or definition of a true CDT thru-hike, but given the conditions all the CDT hikers have had to face in 2015 I feel very comfortable in my decision and hopeful I can accomplish my goal.

This is a record year for the number of people who are hiking the CDT.  Most hikers (200) started from the Mexican border in early April and approximately 20 hikers started mid-June from the Canadian border going south.  Northbound hikers fear snow in the San Juan Mountains in early June and snow in Glacier National Park in September.  Southbound hikers fear snow in Glacier National Park in early June and snow in the San Juan’s in late November.  With little snow in Glacier National Park this past winter, southbound travel would have been the best direction to travel this year.  However, the idea of finishing on the Mexican border in November was never attractive to me.

Last year there were about 70 northbound thru-hikers who hiked from Mexico to Canada that finished the CDT.  This year there may be only 10 that get to complete the whole journey; hopefully, I will be one of them.  When Lewis and Clark paddled up the Missouri River the Shoshoni Indians told them they would not be able to get through to the west because the Missouri River terminated at the Continental Divide.  They left the river and traveled by horseback to complete their mission and the rest is history.  If Lewis and Clark were alive today they would have come up with the same plan devised by Natalie.  After all, they had Sacajawea to guide them and I have Natalie.

 

Helena to Lincoln, MT – August 27 to August 29, 2015

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When I got to MacDonald Pass where the CDT crosses the highway, I hitchhiked to Helena about 15 miles east of the trail.  I was hitching for almost an hour when a nice senior gentleman traveling in the opposite direction turned around and stopped to pick me up.  He called his wife to say he would be a half hour late and to eat dinner without him.  He not only took me to my hotel and re-supply location, he told me of all the places to eat or check out in my short visit in town.  This behavior is typical of all the great people I have met along the way and who have helped me out. Many of my trail angels have asked for my blog site and some have donated to BCM.

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Helena is a great town and also the capital of Montana.  They have a pedestrian courtyard downtown with all kinds of interesting shops and restaurants.  The next day I got a fast hitch back up to MacDonald Pass and began my hike of 64 miles to my next destination.  The landscape again was similar to my previous trek but much drier.  In one stretch I had to hike 35 miles before I could find water.

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I woke up the second day to heavy smoke and airplanes flying in the area.  One transport helicopter flew overhead with a big bucket of water.

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I was worried there was a fire nearby.  I called my Search and Rescue Team of Lance, Karen and Natalie and they went to work checking on conditions.  I do have an InReach satellite tracking device with an SOS button for rescue that would tell a rescue team of my exact location.  I called Lance first because of his experience as a Wildland Firefighter on a Hot Shot Crew.  I told him of the smoke but that no fire could be seen.  He contacted Natalie who contacted a Forest Service Ranger in the area.  The ranger said a 10 acre fire just started in the area, but it was downwind of me and I was not in any immediate danger, but that I should continue to Lincoln as soon as possible.

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Natalie picked me up again at the pass near Lincoln and we camped in a state forest campground that night with her new Wilderness and Civilization students for this school year.  The Wilderness and Civilization Program at the University of Montana is a one year academic program where the students earn a Wilderness Studies Minor through the Department of Forestry.

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Natalie is pictured on the left in the red jacket.

This camping trip was a class course and I loved the way Natalie got the students to be interactive and creative in their thinking.  I couldn’t believe the forest ranger let us have a campfire.  The entire region is so full of smoke that ashes sometimes fall from the sky.

The city of Missoula is choked with smoke.  The next section of the CDT is through the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  Right now it is closed due to fires throughout the wilderness.  Glacier National Park too is experiencing numerous fires and has closures as well.  What would modern-day Lewis and Clark do in this case, call it quits or continue with their mission?  Stay tuned for the next blog to find out. I have less than 300 miles to hike to the Canadian border and have completed over 2,600 miles on my journey.

Anaconda to Helena, MT – August 24 to August 26, 2015

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Anaconda to Helena was an 80 mile section of the CDT that I would complete in 3 days.  The area was picturesque but not as dramatic as the Pintler Mountains.   The elevation in the area was between 6,200 to 7,400 feet and some of the vistas were clouded with smoke.

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The trail followed the ridge line and I encountered rolling mountain hillsides with patches of forest and mountain meadows.  Prior to starting the Anaconda route, I spent a zero day in Missoula at Natalie’s house.  She took good care of me.  She made numerous baked goods and made sure that my appetite was satisfied.

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Natalie was in the midst of planning her Freshman Program that she started last year at the University of Montana.  She developed a program that offers all incoming freshman, regardless of their major, the opportunity to experience the wilderness of Montana through a four day backpacking trip.  Last year she had 40 freshman sign up for the program.  This year she had 70 students register.   There is a considerable amount of planning involved from food preparation, to permits, educating group leaders, transportation, etc.  It reminded me of all the work Karen and Natalie did getting me ready for my journey.

I got to eat dinner the night before and breakfast the following morning with the group of students before they departed for their adventure.  It was nice to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the students.  There were 10 groups of 7 students with a leader.  Most of the leaders were previous students of Natalie’s Wilderness and Civilization Program.  One group was going to the Pintler Range so they returned me to the Anaconda Trailhead so I could continue with my hike.

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The circumstances are different, but this experience reminded me of the Big City Mountaineer Program and the importance it plays in the lives of those at risk kids who are fortunate to have a wilderness experience with hopes of improving their life and future.

Sula, MT to Anaconda, MT – August 19 to August 22, 2015

When I arrived in Sula, I got a surprise visit from Natalie who just got back from a backpacking trip herself in the Yukon area of Alaska.  She took me to dinner in Hamilton, MT not far from her home in Missoula, MT.  It was nice to finally have some company and family is the best.

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I got a hitch the following morning from a really nice guy that was 84 years old.  He told me he had lost his wife a year ago.  He was lonely now and it only made me miss home more.  He dropped me off at the Chief Joseph Trailhead which is still in the Bitterroot Mountains and Beaver Head National Forest.  This was a 100 mile section that I was hoping to complete in 4 days. The trail started out kind and gentle with flat or even down hill tread most of the day. The climbs were only short ridges and it was an easy 20+ day, although I didn’t start until 11:30 a.m.  The trail followed a cross-country ski loop and a very good one.  I ran across two Forest Service warming huts that looked awesome.

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I also hiked through several old wildfire areas and it was sad to see such beautiful country tarnished by wildfires.  Eventually I entered the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Area and into a beautiful wild and remote mountainous region.  I was surprised how clear the sky was and smoke free with all the wildfires in the surrounding state.

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One day during a breakfast break at an alpine lake where I had spent the night, I thought I heard a horse group coming up the trail but it happened to be a big bull moose who walked right into my camp.

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Much like the previous sections I saw no one for 3 days and it was lonely.

On my 3rd day I had to summit 4 passes all around 1,500 to 2,000 foot climbs and I still managed to get 25 miles in.  Although doing 8,000 feet of vertical gain a day seems ridiculous, the trails were hiker friendly.  There were several switchbacks spaced over 2 miles versus a 1/2 mile which would be extremely steep.   I felt very strong, but my one small toe still hurt.

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The views of the Pintlers were awesome with beautiful alpine lakes and amazing vistas.  The last day I thought would be relatively easy but nothing is easy on the CDT.

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Near the end the last day the area was very sketchy with a 3 mile section of bushwhacking before finally reaching the highway into Anaconda.  Natalie picked me up and took me back to Missoula to spend a day and rest my tired body and sore toe.  The smoke from area wildfires was so intense it looked like it was going to rain.  The Rainbow Lake Area which I had just hiked the previous day was now closed to wildfires.  Without a break in the weather it looks like part of the CDT will be closed north of where I am heading.  First snow in Colorado and now fires in Montana.

 

Leadore, ID to Sula, MT – Lewis and Clark – August 13 to August 18, 2015

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The landscape of this area of the CDT was similar to the previous section, however, there were more trees giving me relief from the intense sun.

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I hiked to area called Lemhi Pass.

This was the last water stop for 25 miles.  There was a historical landmark of the Lewis and Clark expedition at this location.

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Just like Meriwether Lewis I was able to straddle the great Missouri River.

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The spring coming out of the ground at this location is the headwaters of the Missouri River.

While on my journey I was able to stand next to the head waters of the Rio Grande River, the Colorado River, the Green River and now the Missouri River.

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This specific site is dedicated to Sacagawea, the female Indian guide of the Shoshone Indian Tribe who made the Lewis and Clark expedition a success.  She died at the early age of 25.

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The trail continued to follow the Montana/Idaho state border and several survey stakes dotted the trail.  I summited several mountains and came across several beautiful alpine lakes.  Unfortunately, there were wildland fires in the area so the distant landscape was clouded with smoke.  Next to my last day there were actually airplanes and helicopters flying overhead.

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Once again I have been hiking by myself and I have not seen anybody in 4 days.  I am now in a small town called Sula where the grocery store, restaurant and lodging are all in one establishment.  The hike has been brutally hard and despite how far I have gone the end seems so far away.  Pray for my safe completion, I will need it.

Lima, MT to Leadore, ID – August 9 to August 12, 2015

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Lima to Leadore was a hundred mile section that I completed in 4 days.  I love the adventure but I’m really looking forward to getting home and starting my retirement life with Karen.   As physically demanding as this adventure has been on me it has been emotionally tough on Karen.  Lima much like Leadore was a train stop in the old west.  In Lima trains would actually turn around and head back in the direction they had come.  Today it is a small town of just over a hundred people.

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Fortunately, the hotel I stayed at picked me up at the pass outside of town and were kind enough to take me back the following day.  It was raining hard the day I left to return to the trail, but I wanted to stay on schedule so I headed out anyway.

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It still amazes me how the landscape changes from one destination to another.  The mountains north of Lima looked like they were covered in felt.  The hiking was a series of ups and downs through the mountains and it followed the Idaho/Montana border.  It felt wild and remote and I saw no other people other than a few day hikers and southbound CDT hikers.  I ran into a herd of elk that numbered in the hundreds.  It was like watching an elk migration.

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I camped at a remote lake called Dead Man Lake at a very picturesque campsite.  When I got to Leadore, Idaho, Sam who owns the Leadore Inn picked me up at the pass and took me to town.  He explained the history of the town and how the steam engines traveled to Leadore. The picture I took of the sign at the pass explains a little bit of the history.

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The Leadore Inn was a great place.  Sam the owner was a great guy.  His hobby is wood carving as shown in the pictures.  He only needs a marketing person to help him sell his wood carvings to the public.

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Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park to Lima, MT – August 4 to August 8, 2015

The Continental Divide Trail goes right through Old Faithful Village and past the Old Faithful Geyser.  The CDT heads toward West Yellowstone before it crosses the Idaho border.  Very few hikers travel this direction and I know why.  The area has been slow to recover after the 1988 Yellowstone fire.  The landscape is barren, dry and not very pretty.

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Once I crossed the Idaho border the landscape improved dramatically.  It was so nice to see everything green again.  Mountains appeared but so did the climbs.  The landscape is much different from what I experienced previously.  The mountain slopes were covered with green grassy fields and it felt remote and wild.  The only people I saw were some other Continental Divide thru-hikers going south.

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I was caught on a high peak one day when a storm rolled in.  What had been a nice sunny day turned violent in a matter of minutes.  All of a sudden it was thundering and lightening with 40 to 50 mile winds and rain so cold that it began to sleet.  The trail followed the ridge for several miles and there was nothing I could do but move forward.  Fortunately, the flashes of lightning overhead never seemed to touch the ground.  The weather was like Colorado’s weather – it seemed that every afternoon there was always the potential for a thunderstorm.  The storms would arrive abruptly and end after a couple of hours when the sun would appear and become pleasant.

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This section of the CDT is right on the border of Idaho and Montana so I never really knew which state I was in at any given time.

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This was a hundred plus mile section and it took me 5 days.  I stayed in a small town called Lima which was a train stop back in the Western days. Today, just a little over a hundred people live in Lima. The place I stayed was very inexpensive and the manager of the establishment picked me up at the trailhead so I didn’t have to hitch into town.

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Where the Waters Divide – Dubois, WY to Old Faithful Village, Yellowstone National Park (110 miles) – July 30 to August 3, 2015

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Dubois, Wyoming is a small cowboy town caught between two of the wildest mountain ranges in the lower 48 states – the Wind River Range to the south, and the Absaroka Range to the north.  At one time, this town was going to be named “Never Sweat” perhaps for the rule that a true cowboy never sweats, or, more accurately, never admits it to a lady.  Home to a few bars and the best thrift shop in western Wyoming, aptly named the “Opportunity Shop,” it was also where I met my slightly dusty, yet strong dad, just in time for a whiskey drink and a quick turn around to hit the trail.

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I got the call early that first morning – dad was heading out a day early from the Wind River Range, after hiking all night because of snow.  I rallied my adventurous friend Janine, who is up for anything on a last minute’s notice and was conveniently on a break from teaching students in the wilderness.  What better way to spend time with my dad walking 25+ miles a day through the most remote corner of the lower 48 states – the Thoroughfare of Yellowstone National Park?

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Known to be the furthest distance from a road in the lower 48 states in any direction – 25 miles give or take a few logging road miles, this part of Yellowstone National Park is rugged, lined by huge peaks more than 11,000 feet in height, home to some of highest concentrations of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, not to mention wolves, weasels, and all the creatures and their habitats that make any wildlife biologist giddy with wandering wonder.

The hiking is relatively easy given the remote nature of the landscape, and remnant damage to the forest from the 1988 fires in Yellowstone that can be seen everywhere.  About 40 miles into our hike, we came to a creek that was flowing from a sub alpine meadow into two distinct creeks – “Pacific Creek” and “Atlantic Creek” at a place on the map called “The Parting of the Waters.”  This specific spot holds waterways that split from the high mountains and flow both east and west, towards the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, which is the true definition of the Continental Divide.  My dad had walked almost 2000 miles across the Continental Divide at this point, and he had yet to see another spot such as this one, so we took a moment to take photos of him with his feet in the headwaters of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

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We also crossed the headwaters of the Snake River, which flows west to the Pacific Ocean, more than 1000 miles from its headwaters in Yellowstone National Park.  It is the largest tributary of the Columbia River system and rivers such as the Salmon River, which is one of the largest wild and scenic rivers in the United States.

My dad is over 2,000 miles into his journey along the Continental Divide Trail.  He has a rhythm in the way he moves throughout a day.  He is strong, happy, and humble.  I have so many questions for him, what is he thinking about, what are the other thru-hikers like, what has been the highlight, what is hard about the journey, etc.  I think he was happy for the company over this 110 mile section through Yellowstone National Park.  Days are long and lots of walking, with no down time other than occasional breaks to snack and sleep.  As usual, my feet looked worse than his, even though I only hiked 110 miles of his 2,000 mile journey with him.

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The hiking was fast, with a great side bushwhack to a wonderful waterfall with a deep chasm, a quick view of a too close grizzly bear, lots of laughter, and of course, a little Montana moonshine to celebrate the passing of each day.

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Perhaps the biggest treat of the landscape was four days of full moon light each night in the mountains.

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The journey of the last few months for my dad has been one for our whole family.  In the 110 miles I walked with my dad through burned Yellowstone forest, across high alpine plateaus, and in the quiet solitude that we share as father and daughter, I realized my parents gave me the two greatest gifts possible – my dad taught me to chase my dreams, whatever they may be and wherever they may take me. My mom gave me my first journal when I was seven years and told me to chase my dreams, then write about the adventures.  So, here is what I wrote about the time with my dad on the trail in Yellowstone:

“I ask dad, ‘What’s next after this dad?  After this grand adventure?’  He calmly responds, ‘Nat, I needed this adventure, to help me move into the next phase of life – getting older.  Getting older will be an adventure, and I am excited about it, I just had one thing on my bucket list.  This is it.  After this, I have nothing left on my list, and I am ready to grow older.’   I run to keep up with him, his strong steps, his happy heart, his laugh and smile that matches any half his age on the trail.  And I am happy to follow his footsteps, as I have done since I could walk.”

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My dad keeps walking now into Montana.  With any luck, I will get to see him once a week for the next month.  Funny that my parents have to walk across the country so that I can have dinner with them once a week, but then again, Dawson’s have never done anything the easy way, and stubbornly, we each have to do it our OWN way.  In a few weeks, my mom and I hope to walk the last 100 miles through Glacier National Park and to the Canadian border with dad.  I will probably bring him some cookies.

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