Day 82 & 83 on the Continental Divide Trail

Zero days

9/11/17 – 9/12/17
I took another two days to rest and get everything done, but mostly work on the blog. With the long hiking hours and exhaustion the last few days, I didn’t get any writing done on trail and had to do it all here in town.

It was tough getting all my writing done while sharing a room with three other people, so I decided to stay one more day when everyone else hiked out earlier this afternoon (9/12). I’ll catch up again in a couple days.

Rawlins has been a nice stop. There’s a Wal-Mart, a Taco John’s, and a Thai buffet that blew me away. I bought a Huffy Beach Cruiser bike from the local Wal-Mart next to the hotel and used it to get across town to run some errands. I returned it at the end of the day, no worse for the wear. Wal-Mart will survive.

I still feel utterly exhausted. My legs are feeling much better on this second day, but I feel tired in my bones. This hike has felt so different from my last two hikes, but I can’t quite pinpoint why. It doesn’t even feel like a thru hike. I’m not sure what it feels like, but it’s different from the AT and PCT hikes. Much different experience.

I’m a little over 100 miles from Colorado, and it’s going to feel like a major victory to cross that border. Wyoming has been a pleasant surprise, I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it as much as I did. My plans to blow through this state obviously fell completely through, but I’m not beating myself up over it. I am however setting a goal for myself in Colorado. I’d like/need to get through this state in as close to one month as possible.

It’s looking like we may have a late running summer, so the window to get through the San Juans may have widened as a result. I can’t squander that gift by continuing to dally. I’ve been very much going with the flow lately, however it’s been other’s “flows,” and not so much my own. Once at the Colorado border, the trail family I’ve been traveling with will most likely break apart. Some people are thinking about throwing in the towel at the Colorado border, while others are planning to flip flop to the San Juans and knock them out before it gets any later. My OCD won’t allow me to flip or go any other direction for a length of time other than the one I’ve been going, south.

So I’m anticipating some major changes to the hiking dynamics I’ve grown accustom to. Over the next week we’ll see who does what and goes where. Regardless of what happens, I’m sticking to my plan to push hard through Colorado, lest this late running warm weather be wasted.

In other news, my family in Florida is safe and sound. My parents and grandparents in the panhandle received almost no bad weather. My siblings down south are safe, and from what I’ve heard, damage has been minimal in their neck of the woods. We’re only waiting to hear from one aunt who is most certainly without power.

Katana is doing well, and I miss her like crazy. I feel bad for missing out on what amounts to several dog years of her life, but I don’t foresee myself doing anymore massive thru hikes without her after this. These long hikes take a major chunk of time, and a major toll on the body. I feel like I have learned the most major life lessons that I can learn from the long distance hiking, and my life has been permanently changed for the better because of it. There are dozens of other long trails out there that require shorter investments of time, and I look forward to branching out and exploring those after this Triple Crown is complete. I also look forward to pursuing other modes of travel and adventure as well. Jessica (Dixie) and I have a lot of grand plans in the works…

Go to Day 84


  1. Thank you for the update on Katana and your family. Great news. Good luck thru Colorado,looking forward to the next blog entries!

  2. Kyle, I had the pleasure of hiking a portion of the CDT in CO during July. You are right in your decision to start moving faster as CO will be incredibly beautiful and challenging. With a huge chunk of the trail above 10,000 feet, it will be plenty cold and there have already been dustings of snow. It will only take one big storm to disrupt your path! We had more than enough water throughout but I hear a lot of that water has dried up now so only the identified spots have water. FYI-the hostel in Twin Lakes has closed for the season but the general store should be open and has some decent hiker food and supplies – consider hitching down from Independence Pass or come down through Willis Gulch to Twin Lakes, then hitch back up to the Pass even though you might backtrack. Godspeed through Colorado and enjoy!

  3. Just hit chapter 9 of your AT book and it’s been a fantastic read. Very jealous and proud of your accomplishments sir.

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