Continental Divide Trail #22: Glacier to CANADA!!

Our final section of the CDT started at the Two Medicine Ranger’s Station in Glacier National Park where the Ranger said “Guys, you’re screwed!” (or words to that effect). The Reynolds fire still burning and the Thompson fire exploding to 15,000 acres, on two sides of the CDT, cut off their final piece of the trail toward Canada.

Porter and Problem Bear studied alternate routes and applied for Glacier camping permits with full confidence that a solution would present Herself.


2And so she did! Thru-hikers weren’t allowed to walk through the burned areas, but could be driven. Driving through the burnt forest was eerie. So here we are–Problem Bear, Gail, Porter, and Maverick, in 40 degrees and sleeting rain at Logan Pass.


 

They hiked their new route toward Canada on the Highline Trail, a spectacularly scenic trail blasted out of the side of a rock cliff.


Unfortunately, they were told by Rangers at their Granite Park campsite that due to a new fire on the west side of Waterton Lake they couldn’t enter Canada on the CDT.


Undeterred, they decided to take a much longer, steeper route to the Canadian border at Chief Mountain. By this time, Beacon, Problem Bear, and Maverick had given Porter his trail-name: OG!


However, with three big fires now burning in Glacier National Park, they were intercepted partway to Chief Mountain by Rangers sent out to look for them. They were personally escorted by Park Service Trail Crew to Goat Haunt, where they were forced to take a boat that night to Waterton.


Congratulations, Porter “OG” Storey, for making it from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada! We’re looking forward to next summer’s completion of the Colorado section impassable last spring because of snowpack.


Here we are under the Canadian flag at Waterton Glacier International Peace Park. We’re deeply grateful.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support!

 

Continental Divide Trail #20: Bob Marshall Wilderness, MT

Porter has been looking forward to the long stretch of the Scapegoat Wilderness and Bob Marshall Wilderness all through New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It proved to be as magnificent and wild as anticipated. He saw three grizzly bears–a mother and her cubs. Porter and his hiking buddy stayed at a respectful distance of fifty yards while the mother grizzly hustled her cubs up the mountainside.


Porter looks from the Scapegoat toward the Bob Marshall Wilderness.


Mountain in the Scapegoat at sunrise.


Porter hikes beneath the Bob Marshall’s 1000-foot tall, 40-mile long Chinese Wall.


Meanwhile, Gail summited Montana’s Mount Helena.


As for Amber, she sat in bed in her hotel room and ordered room service. Asked how many glasses she would like with her two bottles of bubbly, she said “One, please.”

Continental Divide Trail #19: Susie Lindau’s Fitness Challenge!

Amber and I accepted Susie Lindau’s Wild Rider Fitness Challenge to get fit through outdoor adventure! Readers of my book, I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, know that I lost 22 pounds on 7,000 calories a day while hiking the PCT. But as trail angels supporting my husband Porter’s hike of the Continental Divide Trail, 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada, we gotta have our own adventures while driving hours from trail-town to town and partying on the road.
We hiked in the Wind River Range of Wyoming!

Because hotel breakfasts.

We swam in hotel pools in Colorado.

cBecause margaritas in New Mexico!

We practiced yoga overlooking a river in Idaho.

Because hot fudge sundaes everywhere!

We climbed high passes for this view of the Tetons.

Because chocolate!

Amber and I recovered from our adventures in hot springs from New Mexico to Montana. Thanks, Susie! Fitness is a tough job but someone’s got to do it!

Continental Divide Trail #18: Anaconda Range, MT

The coldest, wettest, most windy and one of the most beautiful sections of the CDT so far was the Anaconda mountain range in central Montana. I could see the mountains were socked in on my long drive to Butte in drenching rain. 
Porter made it, although I had my own challenges meeting him days later at the Storm Lake Trailhead–a long solitary drive through mud and deep puddles on the most winding boulder-strewn road I’ve been on so far.



Here’s Porter’s hiking buddy, Problem Bear, as they head up into the storm.



Sleeting rain continued after the snow stopped. Soaked through and in danger of hypothermia, they found a fire pit and carefully built a fire to warm up. They made sure it was completely out before they hiked on.


They had to climb as many as four passes in one day.


Meanwhile, Amber got the inside poop from Kathleen Meyer, author of the international best-seller (more than 2.5 million copies) How to Shit in the Woods.