Preparing for the Continental Divide

Apr 2011 Update: This is part of my journal of a 2004 CDT hike. You’re welcome here, and there are some planning resources, but if you’re looking for maps I recommend you visit Jonathan Ley. I did collect a track of the CDT in Wyoming in 2009, which I later added to Open Street Map, but these are of less practical use than Jonathan’s maps. Enjoy!


As our preparations occupy more of our time (and our bank account), the undertaking we have planned for so long is starting to feel real. I first proposed the idea when I proposed to my wife by asking if she’d accompany me on a honeymoon hike of the Continental Divide Trail. Since then we have started referring to the CDT as the CDBW, or Continental Divide BushWack, because we are discovering that it is still more idea than trail. Still, there are few hearty souls like Jonathan Ley who find their way from border to border each year. In mid-April we will set out to join them, under the precept that as husband and wife we will step onto and off of the trail together. Or, as my friend Pete joked, we’ll stop when the honeymoon’s over!

The current plan is to move our stuff into storage in mid-March, spend a couple weeks getting our supply boxes packed and moved to my dad’s in Wyoming, head to Sante Fe in early April with a few days to drop food and water caches, then start hiking in mid-April. When we have our full itinerary planned with our resupply addresses and approximate dates, I’ll post it here. In fact, I hope to keep posting updates throughout the adventure. It appears that ultralight portable satellite internet connectivity is still a nerd dream, so posts will probably appear every couple of weeks at best once we’re on the trail. I do plan to keep a daily journal – maybe someone will volunteer to transcribe them to the hobolog for me?

One thing we’ve noticed when discussing our plans with people is that there seems to be an underlying disapproval of this sort of undertaking in American culture. I found the same thing during my 8-1/2 month bike tour. How dare we, when the whole world is struggling, take off and do something purely for the joy and adventure of it? The trip we are planning may offend the American work ethic, but I think it embodies many other values our culture holds dear: the freedom to pursue what we love, the courage to explore in the face of uncertainty, and the industriousness required to make a dream real. I hope our journey will inspire as many as it offends, and I hope if you have feelings or opinions to express about any of it you’ll leave a comment here for the rest of us. Or, just wish us luck!


4 responses to “Preparing for the Continental Divide”

  1. Dylan & Ann,

    Hello, this is The Animal. I am in Denver after almost finishing the CDT this year! What a wonderful summer. I am having a get to geather at my parrents house on Friday October 15th after 4:00 PM. I would love it if you an Ann can stop by. My mom has organixed all of my photos into eleven albums. If you can attend give me a call, and I will tell you how to find our place in Westminster.


    Kevin Koski CDT 2004

  2. A little late, but I’m sure you’ll like the input.

    My wife and I hiked the Colorado Trail for our honeymoon in 2004. We were hiking north to south and may have ventured across you!

    And I know what you mean about offending peoples’ work ethics. I’ve been dealing with that since, after being part of the dot-com fallout in 2001, deciding NOT to go back to a “real” job. I’ve mostly been in school and am now working on my PhD in Colorado.

    -Eric CT 2004

  3. the fact that are lives are finite ,added with the mystery of how and when,you have chosen to grow in experiences that will make that finite time worth it ,go have some fun!

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