The Divide

So, let's get back to it though....

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST, commonly pronounced "Sid-Nas-Tee," I believe) may not be the oldest or most well known long distance hiking trail, but it sure is neat.

First things first -- Science!

"What the heck is the Continental Divide?"

The Continental Divide is a geographic line throughout North America of which all water either flows East, to the Gulf of Mexico and eventually joins the Atlantic Ocean, or West, into the Pacific Ocean. We all know water is bound to follow the path of least resistance as it trickles downwards. The Rocky Mountains are this resistance. Therefor, water which lands on the Eastern slopes of the Divide flow East and water which falls upon the Western slopes flow to the West. The Continental Divide Trail roughly follows this path.

Of the "Big Three" long distance hiking trails in the U.S. the Continental Divide Trail weighs in at a hefty 3,100 miles (in comparison the Pacific Crest Trail clocks in at 2,650 miles and the Appalachian Trail finishes at just under 2,200 miles). In addition to its length, the Continental Divide Trail boasts only a 70% completed trail. Meaning, navigation and off-trail navigation is a must. Lastly, the CDT, similarly to the Pacific Crest Trail, boasts a variety of geographic features to contend with, including both desert stretches and large amounts of high country hiking.

But who am I? And what makes me think I can hike a trail like this?

I am Dan "Mellow Yellow" Klein. Amongst a lot of other things, I am a long distance hiker (AT 2010, PCT 2012) and have worked as a trail crew leader throughout the summers between my hikes. In the past four years or so I have spent over fifteen months living and sleeping outside.

Can I successfully thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail? -- I dunno, but I reckon I've got a strong chance of doing so.

This blog will work both to chronicle the journey and as a way for me to sort my thoughts out on paper (electronic paper?). It won't be a story of heroic feats from a world class adventurer. That isn't who or what I am. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that anyone who claims to be such is a liar, anyways. I'm a competent, possibly "highly" competent backpacker and outdoorsman, but I'm no hero. I've learned just about everything I know from trial, error, and improvement. And, as there is always room for further improvement, then it stands to reason I'll stumble through a couple more errors in order to reach it on my quest for the Triple Crown.

Then again, as my fellow hiker Lint likes to say, it's only "Triple Clownin'".