My name is Ryley, I’m the CTO of PresiNET and I’m a thru-hiker. That means that I enjoy some very long walks. In the summer of 2007 I walked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), through the Sierras and Cascades in California, Oregon and Washington: over 4000km of continuously connected footsteps. This summer, I’m planning to try a similar feat on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).
The CDT follows the Rockies south from Alberta, starting from Waterton, AB and ends at the Mexican border in New Mexico. Where the PCT is 99% a finished trail, the CDT is more like 70% trail, the rest being either a line on a map, or walking on dirt roads or the sides of highways. As a result of its more nebulous nature, every person that hikes the CDT essentially hikes their own trail.
There are some amazing things awaiting me on the CDT. Right from the start, the trail goes through Glacier National Park. I’ll be there very early in their season, probably setting out in mid or late June. There will be tons of snow-capped peaks, grizzly bears, and me! After that, the trail continues south into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, containing an amazing geological feature called the Chinese Wall – a 22 mile long “wall” of mountains that I’ll get to hike right along. In Wyoming, I get to traverse across Yellowstone National Park (going right by Old Faithful), and then soon after the Wind River Range, a beautiful mountainous area. Colorado has some of the highest peaks in the Rockies, and one of my choices will be how many I detour to climb. In New Mexico, I’m most looking forward to the Gila Wilderness, a series of canyons, rivers, and interesting archaelogical features.
Why am I doing this? I love being in the wilderness, especially by myself. I think of it as a kind of walking meditation. I’m also walking in support of Victoria Hospice, and specifically the Bharatpur, Nepal Hospice project that my mom is involved in. This project is a partership between the hospices in Victoria and Bharatpur. Their goal is to support each other in providing excellent end-of-life care.
Update: I’m now finished hiking, and you can read through my whole journal here.