Continental Divide Trail #30: Fire, Storms, & Old Friends

Og (aka Porter) messaged me late one night from his campsite in the Rabbit Ears Range to say he saw and smelled smoke, and was there a fire near him? I sprang into action from my hotel room and learned a lot about how to research fire activity, especially through an invaluable site called Inciweb. The Beaver Creek Fire was raging north of the Continental Divide Trail near the Colorado/Wyoming border, 35,000 acres, 12% contained, expected to burn into October.

Fortunately, air and ground fire crews were maintaining the perimeters, while letting the vast interior of beetle-killed trees burn. Also, it’s monsoon season in the Colorado mountains, and the heavy rains help. Og works hard to find a campsite each evening with slopes on all sides to channel the pelting runoff from late-night storms.

He’s making great mileage over spectacular mountains, here in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.

Remember Tom and Sheila, our hiking friends in I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail?  Sheila is trail-angeling Tom as he hikes south on the Continental Divide Trail this summer, just as I’m trail-angeling Porter as he hikes north, and we met while picking up our respective husbands at the Seedhouse trailhead! We hadn’t seen them in years. Here we are celebrating over dinner in Steamboat Springs.

The big excitement in Amber’s life is getting to stay at the Rabbit Ears Motel, because the sign is pink like her and has a bunny on top!


Continental Divide Trail #26: High Ridges and Wildflowers

Og (aka Porter) has been hiking in the Mount Massive Wilderness of the Sawatch Range, the Holy Cross Wilderness, the Gore Range and the Ten Mile Range high over Copper Mountain and Breckenridge. I’ve been climbing a few miles with him, then down again solo. In these sections, the Continental Divide Trail has overlapped with the Colorado Trail.

The wildflowers are out in full force!

The ridges he’s walked are above 12,000 feet.

The views this high are spectacular.

Amber would rather read about hiking than do it, however. Sitting in a chair carved from a tree trunk is plenty outdoorsy for her.


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 #13: Wind River Range, WY!

“The Continental Divide Trail is by far the most challenging outdoor adventure I’ve ever attempted,” Porter says, “and the Wind River Range is the most challenging and magnificent part of the CDT thus far.”

“I forded lots of wide, deep creeks, and prepared to swim with my pack on my back where the current was fast.”

“The snow above 10,000 feet in elevation was so deep that I often sank up to mid-thigh. I listened for the gurgle of icy creeks beneath. Navigation was tough because the trail was hidden under snow.”

Gail and Amber drove deep into the Wind River Range to meet Porter for his resupply.

We stayed in this wonderful cabin at Big Sandy Lodge, so remote there was no electricity, internet, or cell coverage–just plenty of time to hike and meditate. Natasha and Wes took great care of us, and Natasha made delicious breakfasts, bagged lunches, and dinners.

Porter arrived, and we opened a killer Malbec to drink from under our mosquito head nets.



Here are Gail and Amber hiking their own hike in the Wind River Range.

We were recently interviewed by the international Adventure Sports Podcast about both our Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail adventures:


Meditation Freedom podcast, interview of Gail Storey

Gail Storey, photo by Lincoln Hauser

This is one of the more unusual interviews I’ve had, thought some of you might be interested, about my checkered spiritual past from the 70s through what really happened within while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It would be great if you could leave even a brief comment on the podcast post itself:

Thanks, and warm wishes for your own adventures, interior and otherwise!