Monday, October 15, 2012

Thank you!

We wanted to take the time to thank some of the people who helped us to make this hike possible. Before we left, the awesome Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA where Elaine works had a fundraiser for us. A huge thank you to both Peak Organic Brewing Company and Craft Beer Cellar for doing this and supporting us, we truly appreciate it. Also, my friends Annie and Cap, who helped to fund part of our hike, you are both so generous and kind and I cannot thank you enough for your support, not just for this hike, but for everything else. And of course my family, who helped us along the whole way, thank you!! Below are some pictures of people we met along the way, and some of the people who helped us to complete our hike- we couldn't have done it without you!
This is a picture of my family at the beach this summer. We took a week vacation to go the The Outer Banks in NC and had such a great time, plus it was a great break from the trail :)
Here we are at Craft Beer Cellar, the week before we left, after the final fundraising event with Peak Organic Brewing Company and Craft Beer Cellar. Thank you for helping us to make this trip possible, you guys rock!!
At the Mexico/New Mexico border!!! Here we are day 1, with the incredible Sam Hughes. Sam is the person who drives hikers to the southern terminus of the trail, a nearly three hour long drive, through some of the bumpiest, roughest dirt 'roads'I have been on. He also caches water for the first 90 miles of the trail, without which we could not get through that stretch. There is basically NO water here. Sam is a fascinating person, we had such a fun drive with him-what a great way to start the trail!
In order to get to the Outer Banks to meet the family for our beach week, we had to hitch over 160 miles from Ghost Ranch, NM to the Durango airport in CO. It took us seven hitches and these ladies were nice enough to pick us up along the way. They were ride number two!
This is Ray. We first met Ray when he was hitch number four on the way to Durango airport. BUT, even better was when, over two weeks later, after we came back from the beach we were trying to get a ride back to the trail after coming into Chama to get food, Ray picked us up AGAIN! We'd been waiting for over an hour, and he drove us back to the trail at Cumbres Pass. We had so much fun talking with him, what a great guy!
Outside one of our favorite hostels on the trail, the new Raven's Rest Hostel in Lake City, CO. Here is Brazil Nut with one of the owners, AmyJo. If anyone reading this plans to do the CDT or the Colorado Trail this is a place you don't want to pass up!
These are the guys who gave us a ride out of Darby, MT. We had a fun drive with them, and they were so nice to drive way out of their way to get us back to the pass.
Brazil Nut with our hunter friends, who gave us the best trail magic- a warm place to sleep and FOOD! They were so fun, we stayed us for hours talking with them, and since they had their hunting camp set up right next to the trail, they knew all about hikers and had seen others in previous years. Thanks Jimmy, Carl and Raymond we had a blast with you guys!
What we thought would be our last hitch-leaving Helena, MT. Dan and his dog gave us a ride out of town. Dan was a hiker himself and we enjoyed telling him about the trail. Thanks for the ride Dan!
This was our actual last hitch with Dave. When we finished at the Canadian border, the shuttle service had stopped a few days before, so we had to count on some friendly person to give us a ride-and that person was Dave! He gave us a ride from the border all the way back to East Glacier. Dave was a wealth of knowledge, after having worked for Yellowstone for ten years and now working at Glacier National Park for the past two years, we had lots of questions for him and we had great conversations on our ride. Thank you Dave!!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Despite not having posted earlier we arrived at the border last Wednesay morning! Glacier was beyond any beauty that I could have imagined and was a wonderful place to complete our thru hike. We arrived in Glacier a day earlier than expected and met my dad that evening and took the next two days off to enjoy exploring the park with him. It was GREAT to travel like a tourist- by CAR!- for a few days and see other parts of the park which the CDT does not go trough. After spending Friday night at The Backpacker's Inn, one of the great hostels in East Glacier Park, we headed into the park. For anyone reading this who enjoys hiking and beautiful places, Glacier is a polace you must go! We spent the next four and a half days hiking through the park, taking our time and doing low mile days. It was a beautiful way to end our hike. Below are some pictures from Glacier. I plan on making this website much more comprehensive, with links to full photos and some videos. Both Brazil Nut and I also want to put a gear list on here and want this website to continue to be a resource for other hikers. Thank you again to everyone who has supported us and helped us along the way. Thank you for reading and I will keep this posted with updates for futures hikes and adventures! ~Jetpack

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tales from the trails

While trying to hitch out of our last town we were called ' drunk highschool teeny boppers' by some lady on the side of the road. Seriously? Was this lady nuts?.... We had walked a little way out of town to hitch and were standing near some small houses. Two people were working on one of the houses and saw us standing by the side of the road. They came over and proceeded to ask us what the heck we were doing there. We explained that we were hiking the continental divide trail from Mexico to Canada and had just come into their town to get food. "The continental what?" she asked us. As we explained again she stared to tell us what we were doing was not safe and that she had lived here for over 25 years and the mountains here were not safe. "There are wolves and grizzlies up there, you have no idea what you're getting into." We told her we had been hiking in these mountains for weeks already and we were in fact aware of what was around us but she didn't understand. Where was our gun she asked us and my instant thought was, that based on the camo suit she was wearing her only interest in those "wolves and grizzlies up there" was for her to shoot them. After being told again that what we were doing wasn't safe etc etc we had truly had enough of them and decided to get away-bad karma we said, so we walked a quarter mile up the road to hitch again and the next vehicle that came around the corner stopped right away: meet Jerry, Rick and Lee. We hopped in the cab of the truck and took the thirty mile ride up to the pass with them. Two of these guys were from Darby, the other was a cousin visiting from Colorado. Well they'd been out fishin for the past few days and saw us and wanted to help us out... These guys were great and drive over 45 miles out of their way to bring us back to the trail. They knew about the trail and even knew where the trailhead was. When we got to the trailhead they chatted a little more with us, and offered us some drinks- we explained that it was late and we still had a long was to hike, so they kept the drinks for themselves and we hiked off. The previous day as we were coming into town, we met two loggers very early in he morning who drove by us as we were packing up our tent. They were friendly, asked what we were doing and we explained a little about the CDT to them. Fast forward twenty miles later that afternoon, Brazil nut and I are standing on the side of the road trying to get a hitch into town. It had been over fifteen minutes so i was starting to get annoyed. Them we saw the loggers from that morning drive by and they didn't stop! But, five minutes later a big truck with three ladies stops for us! They were as friendly as could be, we were chit chatting away and they told us they had been out for the day visiting their husband/ uncle who were loggers." As a matter of fact," the woman who was driving told us, " they said they passed two girls this morning who were hiking the CDT." That was us we told them- what a small world, we ran into the guys that morning and without knowing it their wives picked us up later that day to give us a ride in to town! " Just wait til we tell them we picked you guys up, then I'm gonna ask them why in the world they didn't pick you girls up first!'' It was certainly a great town for hitching with memorable experiences for us! But I think we both agree that the best part of our day came that evening. As we were about to stop and camp we saw some RV's ahead near the side of the trail and we decided to see if anyone was there. Meet Jimmy, Carl and Raymond, three guys from Darby who come and camp out at the same place at the same time each year and spend two weeks hunting. Well they couldn't have been any different than the two of us, but they offered us a drink and asked if we wanted to stay for the night and we spent the next four hours talking, eating, drinking and laughing with them. They had come to know hikers over the years since they were set up right along the trail. We talked and laughed and I kept thinking what a great surprise it was to have run in to them. We slept inside the huge canvas tent and in the morning woke to the smell of coffee. We stayed and chatted over coffee and breakfast and finally had to force ourselves to leave- after all we had miles to hike and they we headed out to hunt. But we both agreed that it was the best trail magic and one of the best encounters so far on the trail. The last story I want to share was from back in WY, again as we were hitching out of town. It was Sunday morning about ten o'clock, neither of us thought much of it, or realized that we were hitching just beyond, ( and certainly in view of) a church for Jehovah's witnesses. As we were standing there a woman starts to walk over to us. She is your typical middle aged woman you'd expect to find at church: short, heavy set, long black skirt, and carrying what appears to be a ten pound bible. She asked us what we were doing and if we were homeless. We proceeded to explain about the trail but she still didn't seem to understand. What were two young beautiful girls doing wandering around and hitching around the country? Didn't we have parents who were worried about us, and weren't we scared being all alone? Oh, and while she has us there, what did we know about Jehovah's Witnesses? Well, after conversing with this woman and tryin to explain that we had chosen to do this and were in fact enjoying ourselves she looked at us again and with the most serious expression asked, "Do you carry the holy bible with you in your travels?".........I looked at her, and with as straight a face as possible said "NO."......I wanted to add that that would be extra weight for a hiker, among other things I wanted to say, but I just smiled and left it at 'no' to which she responded that she supposed everyone gets guidance from different sources. Yes, like the maps and guide book and GPS I'm carrying I thought. "Well if you need anything you can come join us inside" she concluded. I think she meant 'we can save your souls' if you come inside. We thanked her and in another five minutes we had a ride back to the trail. Speaking of the trail we are currently in Helena, MT and leaving shortly to go back to the trail. We have a 10 day, 250 mile stretch ending in East Glacier Park, where we are meeting my dad next Thursday! He is coming out to Glacier for a few days and we will spend a couple days with him next week- I can't wait to see him! The bear count is up to six- all black bears and we saw two more moose yesterday- a gigantic bull and cow. We're loving the wildlife sightings we're having. We are both really looking forward to the next stretch, from what everyone ahead tells us Montana just continues to get more and more beautiful. I need to finish packing, then it's time for our last hitch out of town! Thanks for reading, -Jetpack

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Picture upload!

It's been a while since I've posted, but we are in Leadore, Idaho and I am at the library, which means I can upload pictures!  The last stretch from Lima, MT to here I think is meant to remind a hiker that they are on the CONTINENTAL DIVIDE trail.  We left Lima Friday, and climbed straight up to the actual divide and have been rolling along it-up and down, ever since.  The divide here happens to be the Montana/Idaho state border andI believe we will stay along the border for another five days or so until we turn north east and stay in Montana for the rest of the trail.
  Like I said the divide is up high and the terrain has been difficult.  I feel like we've been on a steep roller-coaster. I like riding roller coasters, but feeling like you're hiking on one for over twelve hours a day is exhausting.  But we got a ride into town this morning at nine thirty and are taking the remainder of the day to rest before returning to the trail in the morning.
  Even though the last stretch was somewhat difficult, this area is beautiful.  We've been seeing lots of deer, elk and some moose.  Yesterday as we were hiking we saw some sheep coming over the hill towards us and  for over ten minutes we watched them, thousands of them, walking by us down hill to new vegetation.  We were told that they use this area for the sheep to graze, but I had no idea the numbers that were in one area! 
  We've been passing a lot of sobo (southbound hikers) in the last week or two.  I think we've counted fifteen who are headed south so far.  These hikers start in Glacier in mid June to early July and will not reach Mexico until probably November.  It's been great to meet them on the trail, hear their stories and swap trail info anout water, terrain etc.
  The pictures below are from the Wind River Range in Wyoming, until now. Enjoy, the Winds were beautiful and there are some neat pictures from Yellowstone too.
Heading into the Winds- Little Sandy Lake

 Day 1 in the Winds

Bull moose by Lonesome Lake

 Near Cirque of the Towers




Leaving the Winds
The Green river-appropriately named

BIG CDT sign!
                                               The cabin we stayed in at Lava Mtn Lodge

                                                              Welcome to Yellowstone

This creek was fed by geysers and hot pools so the water was really warm. Perfect spot for morning coffee!

                      How to eat like a thru hiker!! InYellowstone at Old Faithful Village

                                                         The famous Old Faithful geyser

Welcome to Idaho!

Just another grizzly print-next to size 11 mens shoes!
                                               Hiking along the divide- ID/MT border

Lots of sheep near the divide