Oh! The Places You'll Go!

It just might be the ticket I need to fully get my head out of my ass.
My backpacking buddy Leon (he’s in his 60s and flat-out can hike me into the dirt) forwarded me a listing from Backpacker magazine. Seems that they’re looking for a few good people to take on the Continental Divide Trail and map it next year.
It’s the 3,100-mile trail that goes from Canada to Mexico, across Montana, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico. It’s called “The King of Trails.”
It links the Bitterroots, Wind Rivers and San Juan ranges; Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and the Weminuche and Bob Marshall Wilderness Areas.
Problem is, no accurate map exists to take people across safely. More than 1,000 miles of trail remain unsigned, undetermined or simply unmapped.
Enter Backpacker.
Over the next few months, the magazine will pick 200 volunteers to spend a week each on the trail to get as much of it mapped. Maybe 2,000 miles, maybe the whole damn thing.
“It’s a unique opportunity to make hiking history,” said Jonathan Dorn, Backpacker’s editor.
Volunteers will be split into teams and give GPS units and training. The magazine will set people up with free swag and assign each team to a specific location on the trail.
During the week, the team records waypoints, take photographs and submit trip reports.
Next winter, the magazine will publish and post a downloadable version of the map on the Backpacker Web site.
I signed up. No thought process involved. I want this.
If picked, I’ll need to take a week off, and provide my own transportation to wherever I might get assigned.
No problem. I’d hitchhike to my destination, if needed.
And while difficulties swarm my life at present, I find myself excited about the possibilities. About being part of something that’ll make a difference.
About being out in the outdoors, where I belong.
Cross your fingers, readers, I need all the good karma you can channel my way.


TheRobRogers said...

Rock on. Go be one with nature and heal yourself. And then show everyone what it really means to be a trailblazer.

Unknown said...

What if the continental divide lets a big fart rip when you're trying to map it?