Afterword – The Continental Divide Trail

I’m glad I hiked 1,000 miles of the CDT. I’m also happy to be home. Being away from home for two months created substantial problems as I anticipated, even with Betsy’s frequent help. Being home after being on the trail reminds me how much I take for granted the comforts of home. Like the refrigerator.

CDT is advertised as a brutal, potentially lonely experience. Much of the trail isn’t a trail but a route on roads or paths beat out by the feet of hikers. My feet didn’t like hiking on gravel and paved roads. In Colorado the trail improved greatly, especially where it coincided with the Colorado Trail. Loneliness reflects the paucity of long-distance hikers on this trail. I recall CDT volunteer Radar mentioning in Lordsburg that this year’s crop of north-bound through hikers was the biggest ever-around 350. I didn’t see many section hikers or folks out for a stroll in New Mexico. Some days I didn’t see another person. I camped alone 90 percent of the time. I would have preferred to camp alone zero percent of the time. The massive tree mortality in northern NM and southern CO presents an enormous challenge to the CDT Coalition to clear deadfalls from the trail. Chain saw training anyone?

After 10 days at home, my feet are pretty much healed. They don’t hurt any more. If I didn’t have a book to write, a speaking business to promote, a wildflower garden to tend (see photo), and other responsibilities at home, I’d be happy to get back on the CDT. But that will have to wait for another year.

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