What 252 Days Entails…

If the mood should strike you, here is a 20 minute (ish) slide show that attempts to summarize our adventure. Get the popcorn ,a cup of tea, plug in the speakers, and dim the lights! Enjoy!http://www.kizoa.com/embed-17220298-P125529821o2l1

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Finally – The Land of Far Beyond!

In the last hours of the last month of the last year, two figures limped across the Mexican border into Puerto Palomas. It has been an awesome adventure, the likes of which Jake and Liam probably won’t see again. To think that the trip is over is unthinkable.  To think that this is Mexico is absurd.  To think that we walked 5400 kilometers over 252 days to get here is outrageous. We have no idea how life off the trail will be. As Frodo said (more or less), “How does one pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you realize there is no going back. There are some adventures that go too deep that have taken hold.” I guess we will just have to see what happens. Thanks everyone for all the well wishes and the support! It’s amazing how many people have been interested in our story and have sent us kind words! I hope you all find adventures of your own – whatever they may be!

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Nearing the end. It’s hard to imagine that 8 months of walking is coming to a close…

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1/2 mile! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

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The Mexican border guards. We did it. We are here. So surreal. The guards all took selfies with us. Neato!

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Celebrating in the hotel room. We bought the best champagne Walmart had (which was 10 bucks) to celebrate! The only thing open was a gas station. So our celebratory meal was a can of tuna…not quite what we dreamed of for 8 months…Oh well. At least we had the bubbly!

Goodbye Montana

I have always wanted to see Old Faithful in Yellowstone, I just never thought I’d walk there. Even though I haven’t seen it yet, we are only 20 miles from Yellowstone and Wyoming.  Well Montana, it’s been fun. Even though your part of the divide is like a maniac roller coaster on steroids, it has been unforgettable and beautiful. Here are some pictures of the rest of our time in Montana:

DSC02566I don’t even remember what mountain this is. Let’s say it’s Mount Blah Blah.

DSC02561On top of Fish Peak in the Pintler Wilderness

DSC02560On Queener Mountain. Also in the Pintler Wilderness.

DSC02529I think the picture speaks for itself.

DSC02564Feeling blue (but not the sad kind). Descending to Cutaway Pass.

DSC02538Nothing like drying out gear in a parking lot. We even had people come up and ask if we were selling sleeping bags. Oh dear…

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Celebratory food on Mt. Tiny. Our 50th summit of the trip thus far. We had cider (of course), gorganzola,  potato salad, and pita. Mmmm.

DSC02549For most of September we have just slept out under the stars. And cooking over a fire. It has been wonderful. DSC02703Good Morning!

DSC02654An approaching storm. Good thing we have sage brush to hide under…Sigh.

DSC02639Bannock Pass.

DSC02675At least there is no bush whacking and you can see three days ahead. Yay for sage brush and desert! Who needs water anyways?

DSC02670In many places, the divide is never ending sage brush hills (really really high ones, some are over 3000m!).

DSC02640A road in the sky.

DSC02669In Southwestern Montana,  most of the divide follows the Idaho border.

DSC02672Oh no. It’s not hot. It’s quite cool, with all the shade you can see…

DSC02673Our route.

DSC02693Sadly, in some places up to 50% of the forest is dead due to the pine beatle. Most likely, the same will happen to the forests around Jasper one day. I worry.

DSC02668Enjoying breakfast on our 150th day.

DSC02700Summit of Jefferson Mountain.

DSC02707Although this spot doesn’t look significant, it is.This is Brower’s Spring. From here, water travels 6275 km to the ocean via the Missouri/Mississippi River. This is its ultimate headwaters.  When we were there the spring was dry, I hope the Mississippi is still flowing…

Through “The Bob”

The last section took us through the Bob Marshall Wilderness, located in Montana. “The Bob” combined with neighbouring Scapegoat Wilderness and the Lewis and Clark National Forest is the wildest region in the USA (excluding Alaska, obs). 

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The trail network was excellent! It was great to be out of the National Parks and be able to random camp. Yay to no permits! 

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Going up Family Peak. While “the Bob” is very pretty, much of the CDT route follows valley bottoms. It was great to be back in the alpine. 

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Much of the area has been recently burned. While it allowed beautiful views and crazy high fireweed, it offered little protection during the rain (And boy, did it ever rain, we should have brought snorkels. After a few days of a biblical flood, trench foot became a concern). 

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Walking along the Chinese Wall amongst a sea of Bear Grass. 

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Hello Mr. Caterpillar, the earth says hello.

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 A fire singed CDT sign – lots of forest fires, remember?

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We ran into hikers with llamas. Now that would be the life…Maybe on the next hike. Just imagine, no backpacks and able to bring fancy food. Bring on the seven layer cheese cake!

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Summit of Lick Mountain. As we work our way South, the tree line gets higher and higher. This is at almost 2400 meters! 

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We ran into some awesome ranchers. They had us over for some drinks and munchies. They gave us more food to take (including sausages!). When we mentioned that we got 8 holes in our socks that day (“The Bob” turned our clothing into rags!), they snuck a couple socks into our packs. Huzzah!

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Leaving “The Bob” for drier country.

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The rain soon turned to snow. Goodbye summer. You will be greatly missed! Let us hope for a dry warm fall. Esp in Colorado…

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A Miss Allie Strel came down for a visit. Although it was short, we still had a marvelous time!

The Continental Divide Trail

The crossing into the USA was far easier than expected. They asked no questions and only took note of our passport numbers – and gave Jake a written warning for having bear bangers. While you are allowed to carry guns in the national parks in the US, heaven forbid you have a flare pen. Glacier National Park is a beautiful and rugged place. See for yourself!

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The start of the CDT.  Only 4 996km to go…Perhaps we should have taken up video gaming instead. At least our clothes wouldn’t wear out and the feet wouldn’t hurt.

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Entering the USA.

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Jake’s friend Erika met us in Waterton and hiked across the border with us. As you can see, the vegetation is quite high. In some places it goes beyond 2 Liams. Thank you for spending sometime with us Erika!

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We also went up Bertha Peak with Erika. Even on our “days off” we go up mountains. Sigh. If only there were more movie theaters in the countryside. And buffets.

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On the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.

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Hiking through a garden.

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The national parks in the USA are different. For example, they use explosives to make platforms on snow slopes to make it easier for walking…Hmmm makes one wonder if they have too much money to spend?

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Why hello there. A goat on the way up Swiftcurrent Mountain.

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Summit of Cataract Mountain.

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We have gone from making bread, scones, and dosas in Canada to frying pop tarts in butter in the US. It can be hard finding food in a gas station for a week!  It was still the highlight of the day!

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 Some wild onions. A welcome break from pop tarts!

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 A flower worthy of taking note.

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Wonderful Tim’s Potato Chips. Only 900 calories worth…I don’t even recall what an apple tastes like.

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Summit of McClintocks

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Going up Mt. Morgan. It’s slightly tight.

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Going up Mt.  Sinopah.

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Summit of Mt. Sinopah

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A view down the ridge

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Our bathing situation at the moment.

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How the town of East Glacier Park got put on “the map”.

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Hmmm. Excellent timing! Liam lost his spork! Maybe he can replace it with one here…