*Portions previously posted on The Trek , June 9, 2020.
When faced with a dilemma or possible life-threatening situation, you can do one of three things.
- Adapt (Change/Modify/Evolve)
- Migrate (Move)
- Die (also known as Give Up)
Regardless of the situation, you have to pick one. The severity or timeliness of a situation dictates how quickly that choice/decision is made. For us, there have always been only two choices. Adapt or Migrate. To Die or Give Up has never been a viable option, professionally or personally. With that said, our plan to hike the CDT, in these current times, requires some adaptations. What was supposed to be a straight NOBO mid-April thru-hike of the CDT, has morphed into a possible late-June (early July), mid-trail, flip-floppy hybrid.
It All Depends
The day, location, and direction we will start the CDT all depends on the evolution of the ever-changing guidelines and state specific orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The openings of significant national parks (Yellowstone, Glacier), and snow conditions must also be considered. Wyoming is open in that it has rescinded its 14-day (out of state) quarantine order, and it looks like Montana is starting to open. This is not to say that our postponed thru-hike of the CDT has been fully “green lit.” It, however, is looking ever more promising with each passing day. I have to say the Continental Divide Trail Coalition(CDTC) is pretty good about providing current information, guidelines, and links for each of the five states that the CDT traverses. The Postholer Snow Conditions report also has great information on the snow situation for not only the CDT, but other long trails as well.
Train as if You’re Going
With a multitude of trails/routes near our home, we have been “Home Blazing.” And no, it does not involve the use of cannabis. We coined the term “Home Blazing” because all our training hikes started from, or ended at, home. This has allowed us to get our miles in and to better prepare our feet and backs, for the “brutality” of the CDT. It has also enabled us to stay within the parameters of our state’s stay-at-home orders.
For going on nearly two months we have loaded our packs with anywhere from 10-25+ pounds (in addition to the “pandemic pounds” we have put on), and mixed up routes between backcountry trails, fire road hills, and neighborhood streets. However, once the trails fully opened, we stopped walking the neighborhood streets. The cement was killing our feet.
In our abject boredom of Home Blazing we have created an ever-expanding circuit that now includes the circumnavigation of our town (can’t bring myself to call it a city even though there are nearly 65,000 people who live there). We hiked sections of this route, as they opened up, from either being overgrown, or closed, due to COVID-19 closures. Once all sections opened, we set about to hike it all in one day, not really knowing what the actual total mileage would be (20-26 miles), or the snake situation.
Turns out it registered at 23 miles. We did it in one day. If you’re interested in what it looked like, we made a video.
San Clemente Pier to Summit to Pier (PSP) Challenge
Our video debuted to a rousing response having posted it on my personal Facebook page and the San Clemente Life Facebook page. As I understand it, several people attempted it this past weekend. We are waiting for feedback on their times and how they found the route. One person even asked us to lengthen it to a marathon! We promised to do that when we get back from hiking the Continental Divide Trail, as we’ll be in awesome shape by then.
…and speaking of the Continental Divide Trail. It looks like the dream is going to become a reality very shortly.