CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL
The “Big Sky” Montana section of the CDT runs a little over 1,000 miles beginning at the Canadian border from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone.
From the border at Chief Mountain, it was a nine-mile walk off trail and through thunderstorms.
Getting CDT permits was tricky and we had only a short hike to Elizabeth Lake, but it was stunning.
I walked up my first pass at Red Gap strong and assured through wildflowers and one bit of snow.
The hike was short, but surprisingly steep in forest and meadow, followed by a hot road walk.
The trail up to Piegan Pass was covered in snow over switchbacks and required careful crossing.
The walk is hot through overgrowth, past spectacular falls and views to a burn area with no shade.
I get an early start with shade all the way to final zigzags up Triple Divide Pass, then spend hours on top.
The CDT alternate over Dawson Pass is some of the finest ‘balcony walking’ of any trail.
The final push out of Glacier is over Signal Mountain then through Blackfeet Nation land.
It’s a long, overgrown and buggy walk out of East Glacier towards the wilderness.
The start of ‘The Bob’ is a seven-mile stretch of blowdowns on PUDS or pointless up and downs.
The trail heads up a steep slope with views of snow-capped mountains, then into a fairy forest.
It’s flat through a flower filled burn area then a balcony walk looking and climbing up and over dead fall.
I take an alternate along the Sun River to avoid blowdowns and ride a horse across a ford.
I walk four miles with heavy feet, gasping for air as my heart races, then hit the SOS.
I’m “trail angeled” then head home on the Empire Builder to see a cardiologist and return to trail.
Moved by Simone Biles, I practice patience and open to nature’s wonders on a local hike.
Two Bear Air Rescue sent me a reminder that every day is a gift and to never take it for granted.
Do bear bells work? Should I play dead? What about guns in bear country? Read more and stay safe.