A summer along the US Continental Divide

When mating, dragonflies fly about together and sometimes they form their bodies into a heart shape. 

 Starting in late June, Pyrite and I will walk along a corridor roughly following the Continental Divide Trail, headed Southbound. We will walk, hobble, straggle, stumble, skip and skedaddle as the conditions require. Perhaps we will even slide (hopefully not involuntarily down a mountain), trip and fall (because tree roots jump out of the ground and if in snow they hide as booby traps and then they spring out in a very scary fashion). Before all that we will fly and drive. And then get to the walking. And other such things.

We aren’t honeymooners anymore, so this isn’t a hungry honeymoon. But we’ll keep the domain name so you all can find us here again- *wave*.

Two years ago a seed latched onto us somewhere between Campo and Manning Park. I’m not sure if the seed was a barb or a bristle, had wings or hairs, or what it even started as. However, I do know that we carried it all the way to Canada. We carried it south again to Seattle, Washington, Eugene, Oregon and continued to Bozeman, Montana and Minneapolis, Minnesota. We carried it back to California. That seed went through many states. For a few years it lay dormant, waiting for the right conditions to sprout. The conditions are now right for another long hike.

 A thru-hike is expansive. The gut churns, limits emerge and are stretched, the mind opens and is enriched, the body, by means of a constant state of fatigue, cajoles and banters with the mind. A thru-hike is also hard, sometimes scary, sometimes boring, and quite exciting. The restive senses are freed.

 Along the way, I’ll try to share some stories, about us bumping into somethings which bump into other things and people and places along the Divide.  Hopefully we won’t hurt anything, and hopefully you will sometimes find the stories beautiful. Or you will connect with them, and with us. Or you will just want to make sure we are okay.

Paths connect, and turns out it’s really hard to create a footpath on your own. Few people or creatures create footpaths alone. We have turned to the following resources in the planning stages: The CDTC (Continental Divide Trail Coalition), Postholer and Trail Journals, PMagsA Quick And Dirty CDT Guide, Jonathan Ley’s Maps, and a link to a community of other CDT hikers out there this season, The Trail Unites Us. A big ole thank you go to these folks.

 A few months ago I stumbled across a really great book called Things That Are by Amy Leach (2012). I avoid pedagogy or prescriptions, but this is an apt description of a thru-hiker, if there ever could be such a thing, at least for someone like me who avoids nouns that reduce or exclude. I like nouns that expand and include. Thru-hiker is an inclusive noun.

 “Haywire personalities like peas, wobbly personalities with loose ends, iffy ends, result not from having no aim, no object in life, but from having an extrasensory object. What they want is beyond their powers of apprehension―until they hold it in their acute green wisps―so their manner is vagabond.” -Amy Leach Things That Are (2012)


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