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!


22 comments on “Continental Divide Trail #30: Fire, Storms, & Old Friends

  1. I love that motel. Might have to try that one. Cheers to Og on his continued journey. What an adventure. However it wouldn’t be the same without Amber. She adds to it!!!

    • Jerrie, you and Jon would love the Rabbit Ears Motel! You might ask for a room on the Yampa River side in the Park building, with a balcony, ground floor without stairs. Amber sends her love and appreciates your compliment!

  2. We’re soon headed on a camping excursion to Glacier, Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper and Flathead Lake. The suggestion to place the tent with slopes on all sides should be very helpful. Getting wet and cold is not pleasant. Thanks.

  3. Good morning, Gail and Porter! While reading your blog this morning, Gail, I marvel at how far technology has come since I first became acquainted with the two of you (which goes back to 1992). I recall sending emails to your family and friends for you while on one of your expeditions in the early days. You have certainly had your share of adventures and I’ve enjoyed reading about them all. I can see the sparkle in Mr. Storey’s eyes now as he would be recounting a tale about Porter’s travels. He loved and adored his family so much. I miss him so much. Love to you both.

    • Becky, we remember well with such gratitude how you used to send emails to our family and friends for us while we hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and had little access to the Internet! You were such a profound help to Porter’s father for so many years. Much love to you always from Porter and me!

  4. As always, quite the adventure! It’s amazing, though, all the resources available to check wildfires etc. Porter is so lucky you are a team!

  5. Wow! You must be getting near your final goal! Hope the fire won’t be as troublesome as the one in the La Sal mountains when we were biking!!! Thanks for sharing this whole journey with us all. You have a wide spread fan club . . .all three of you! GO OG!

  6. Loved the photos of you and your trekking friends in Steamboat. My old stomping grounds, as I taught skiing up there for 20 years! Mt. Zirkel Wilderness is Amazing, and if you have time you should drive up to Pearl lake (close to Steamboat lake-but very remote and not commercialized at all). I imagine you have moved on though-Amber has good taste, the Rabbit Ears inn is a great place, right on the Yampa, and it’s been there forever! I first skied there in 1969-my Dad loved driving from Wisconsin to Colorado every winter, and I was in awe of the beautiful Rocky Mtn.’s -what a treat for Porter to be able to scale all of those peaks and take in the grandiose views all around. Happy trails to you both… We miss you!

    • Andrea, I can just picture you teaching skiing in Steamboat–it seems like your kind of place! We absolutely loved it! I miss you too and look forward to seeing you all in September!

  7. Thank you for continuing to share your, Og and Amber’s adventures. It has been so wonderful to follow along. We’re about to head out for our annual “walk in the woods” – in Cody, WY tonight. Best wishes to all 3 of you for continued smooth travels.

    • Have a fabulous time on your annual “walk in the woods” in Cody, WY, Jean and Rob! Thanks for following our blog, and we look forward to hearing more about your own summer adventures!

  8. Oh my Gail–I was wondering if there were any fires raging near the CDT. Great to read your latest update on the adventures of you three! I recall Alan (FROST) talking about how many trees have died from the Western Pine beetle that he walked through in CO last summer. Is Porter’s final destination point to complete the CDT the CO // WY border? Frost has decided to finish the CDT in sections. Mid-June and July he hiked from Rawlins, WY to West Yellowstone, MT and is now home. Amazing that there is still nearly 1,000 miles to go as the CDT snakes its way up through Montana to Glacier NP. Best of everything to you, OG and AMBER!

    • Great to hear from you, Ina! Congratulations to FROST on his latest completed section! Although he completed the CDT to over the Wyoming border, we’re now about to do the Western Collegiates and the Weminuche since both of those sections still had too much snow earlier this summer. But that should be it!

  9. Glad to hear your updates, Gail. also glad that Og made it out of the woods when he was ill. Wow-all the hazards out there, sometimes the “smallest” are the worst. Glad he’s going again and you’re doing the Collegiates. Way to go! Mary

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