CDT 2014 Journal


In the summer of 2014, Eszter Horanyi and I set out to thru-ride the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. As far as we know, our trip was the first attempt to traverse the trail in 30 years. It took us four months, during which we covered some 3700 miles.

This page pulls together all the photos, blog posts and GPX data from our trip.

Intro – before the ride

The shakedown ride. AZT thru-ride in March/April 2014. 15 days on the trail, running very similar setups.

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    CDTBike introduction and goals

    Photo posts

    With 30-40 photos per post and not very many words, these posts are a shorter way to see what it’s like to cycle the CDT — shorter than reading all our daily entries.

    CDTbike Photos – Crazy Cook to Silver City
    CDTbike Photos – Silver City to Grants
    CDTbike photos – to Chama
    CDTbike photos through Durango
    CDTbike photos – Durango to Lake City
    CDTbike photos – Lake City to Leadville
    CDTbike photos – Leadville to Winter Park
    CDTbike photos – Winter Park to Steamboat Springs
    CDTBike Photos – Great Basin, Pinedale to West Yellowstone
    CDTBike photos – West Yellowstone to Lima
    CDTBike Photos – Lima to Wisdom
    CDTBike Photos – Wisdom to Butte
    CDTBike Photos – Butte to Lincoln
    CDTBike Photos – Lincoln to Fin

    During the Ride

    What we carried: Full Gear List, written by Eszter
    Ten reasons bikes are awesome on the CDT, and other thoughts on hiking vs riding the trail

    Post Ride

    CDTBike – Statistics and report card – miles, elevation gain, percentage of CDT covered, etc.
    Reflections and Observations – Simplicity, Back in Normal Life, Thru-hikers/trail community, Changes on the Divide, Slow Beauty, Deep Fatigue, Cows, Working from the Trail, Bike Access, Gratitude, The Future.
    Advice to future CDT riders – Go light, Choose your own adventure, maps/GPS.

    GPX Data

    green - CDT; cyan - CT; yellow - GDMBR

    green – CDT; cyan – CT; yellow – GDMBR; red – CDTbike 2014

    Thus far the only thing I have ready is a roughly edited version of our trip. It eliminates most of the resupply runs we took, and fixes some errors, but still needs more work. Remember that we took several trails and options that I would emphatically not recommend other CDT riders take. So, an actual recommended CDTbike route is still to come. But this should be good for illustrative and day-dream purposes!

    GPX here: CDTBike_2014_v0.gpx

    Drop me a note if you’d like to see the recommended CDTbike route sooner rather than later — esp. if you are considering a trip!

    Full diary archive

    I didn’t quite write a post every day, but I did write many words! The whole saga is here, indexed to ease frustration of navigating wordpress archives.

    See also: Eszter’s full blog post archive. Particularly at the beginning of the trip, she did a better job than I did of telling the stories as they happened.

    Days 1 and 2 – CDTbike begins!
    Day 3 – Headwinds and Hike-a-bikes
    Day 4 – Into Silver City on fresh singletrack
    Day 5 – Silver City, Little Toad Wedding and Bears in the Gila
    Day 6 – Not being one with the wind, on the GDMBR
    Day 7 – Too big a day
    Day 9 – Laying over in Pie Town… for more Pie!
    Day 15 – Climb climb climb
    Day 16 – Can’t touch this (boo BLM!)
    Day 17 – On the fly
    Day 18 – Deadfall to Ghost Ranch (Canones National Recreation Trail)
    Day 19 – Backwards exploration – Abiquiu singletrack!
    Day 20 … leaving Ghost Ranch to northern new mexico!
    Day 21 – A day of forests. Faint roads and real singletrack
    Day 22 – Into Colorado, then back to New Mexico!
    Day 25 – A dubious plan
    Day 29 – Way out there… leaving Pagosa
    Day 30 – Linking dirt to Durango
    ** 12 day Interlude in Durango for snow melt, Tour Divide, work, day rides. (Not included in day count) **
    Day 31 – Back on the trail
    Day 32 – This is Big country and a Big bear
    Day 33 – In Silverton. It can’t be only 74 miles.
    Day 34 – Camp Cataract
    Day 35 – Chased by snow over Coney Summit, down to a treeline Yurt!
    Day 36 – Into Lake City, via mega super awesome singletrack descent? Pinch me.
    Day 37 – Detourin’ Dirt
    Day 38 – Sargento! Demento! Retardo! Insaneo! No-braino!
    Day 39 and Day 40 – Salida Creed
    Day 43 – Empty crest, buggy camp
    Day 44 – CDT hike-a-bike beatdown
    Day 45 – How to cover miles on a town day.
    Day 46 – A Dreamy Colorado day on the CDT
    Day 47 – Recovery Money
    Day 48 – Cjell Searle, Gumbo Gold
    Day 49 – Storm Dodging over Argentine Pass
    Day 50 – a grand finale to the first half of the CDT
    Day 56 – Wilderness or wilderness? To Grand Lake!
    Day 57 – Shadow of Parkview
    Day 58 – Lowest mileage day yet?
    Day 59 – Inbetween the Rabbit Ears are lots of bugs and tons of rocks!
    Days 60 and 61 – Springs of Steamboat and finishing Colorado
    Days 62 and 63 – The Battle of Battle Pass
    Day 65 – Magic in the Basin
    Day 66 – ice cream and tasty singletrack
    Day 68 – A choice of nonexistent trails
    Day 69 – No shortage of adventure
    Day 71 – cyclotouring!
    Day 72 – Yellowstone!
    Day 76 — CDT Montana
    Day 77 – Red Rock Rain
    Day 78 – Headache rest
    Day 79 — Centennial Goods
    Days 80 and 81 — Back to normal CDT, and into Lima
    Day 83 — Watcher of the skies
    Day 84 — Divide Rollercoaster
    Day 85 — Thru-hiker day
    Days 86 and 87 – Jackson/Wisdom Resupply and Recharge
    Day 88 — Tired country
    Day 89 — Slag-a-melt-down
    Day 90 — A Wise Nearo. Days 91, 92 .. and? Rest in Wisdom
    Day 93 — Doing stupid
    Day 94 — Recovery Spin
    Day 95 — Awake
    Day 96 – Butte dream
    Day 99 — Still good through Delmoe
    Days 97 & 98 – Rest and Super Butte Ride
    Day 100 – Champion trail, Champion hike-a-bike
    Day 101 — First day of Fall
    Day 102 – Last full day on the CDT proper
    Day 103 – Out with a bang
    Day 104 – Lovely spin on the GDMBR
    Day 105 – Great Divide Richmond Goodness
    Day 106 — Misunderstood
    Day 107 — When winter calls, run to the border!
    Day 108 — Glacier!
    Day 109 and Day 110 — Flexibility. Waiting for sun in Babb, MT.
    Day 111 – Canada!
    Day 112 — CDT done!