Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Continental Divide Trail Revisited

Last summer Sierra and I hiked just over 1,000 miles on the Continental Divide Trail from Spring Creek Pass, Colorado to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.  The Continental Divide Trail is wild, remote, challenging, and unpredictable .... the perfect place for an adventure.  We loved it!

This summer, we will be returning to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park to continue where we left off.  We hope to hike another 1,000 miles through Montana to the northern terminus of the Continental Divide Trail at Waterton Lakes Park in Alberta, Canada.  Along the way we will pass through Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, including the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park.  This is new territory for us, and we are excited!  Just a few more weeks ...

Want more information about the Continental Divide Trail?  Check out the Continental Divide Trail Coalition website or The Trail Unites Us, a super-helpful website that compiles links to maps, guides, CDT journals, and other planning resources.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Winter Reimagined

Winter in the Eastern Sierra. For us, winter calls to mind visions of long backcountry ski tours, fast-paced alpine ski racing, stormy days spent floating through knee-deep powder, and lazy evenings curled up in front of a roaring fire. But four long winters into a drought, we are slowing reimagining a new vision of winter. Sure, we still enjoy countless  Nordic laps and many days of alpine racing. But the dreamy powder days we took for granted during the plentiful winters of 2010 and 2011 have become increasingly scarce. 

Although we lament the loss of our powder days, we embrace the new fair-weather activities made possible by these dry winters. Long, dry, cold stretches bring backcountry ice skating on local lakes, while desert hikes offer a welcome reprieve from the cold. When warm weather melts our backcountry ice, we head to one of the many local crags for rock climbing or bouldering, or running or mountain biking trails. 

A nuthatch slyly hops toward our food as we climb: our first sign of spring.  More signs appear as bright red paintbrush and deep purple lupine bloom near the trailheads. Their colors slowly creep higher into the mountains. Although some snow remains at the highest elevations, the message is clear: winter, such as it was, is over.