The Great Continental Divide Trail

Mount Whitney Shelter 14,505 ft

Mount Whitney Shelter 14,505 ft

Rae Lakes, Sierra Nevada, CA

Rae Lakes, Sierra Nevada, CA

Knife’s Edge, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington

Knife’s Edge, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington

Southern Oregon on the PCT

Southern Oregon on the PCT

Guitar Lake, Kings Canyon National Forest, California

Guitar Lake, Kings Canyon National Forest, California

A 3,100 mile continuous foot path…

Before I had even stepped off the Pacific Crest Trail in August of 2018, I knew that my near future plans had to include hiking the Continental Divide Trail. It was as if I had no choice… I had to. I had fallen in love with distance hiking and my heart broke at the thought of my current thru hike coming to an end.

Through the dry heat of the Mohave desert to the thin mountain air of the Sierra Nevada, the heavy smoke and rain in the Northern Cascades… the remote spaces in which I walked were as if travelling on a thin thread in space. The landscapes so big - so vast… enthralled me! I cherished the abundance of wildlife from the rattle snakes, to the bears, to the cricket, to the everything (only excluding the mosquitos)! I bared witness to night welcoming mornings upon sunrise and to daylight inviting dusk in the evenings. Endless invitation to explore gave me permission to rise and face the unknown.

I felt at home with every step and every mile forward. I relished the physical and mental challenges of trekking across the country as I put one foot in front of the other, often for up to thirty five miles a day. I completed the trail significantly faster than I thought I would and although speed was not my goal… it was simply to complete the trail, I was reminded that our capabilities far exceed what we often deem them to be.

The trail provided me with a space where I could be unapologetically myself as I pursued a dream. Nurturing a deeper understanding of myself was a gift leading to further acceptance of the fact that this journey is only beginning - and I have many more miles to go.

The Great Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a 3,100 mile trail that traverses the length of the USA. I will be North-bounding the trail, which means a start at the New Mexico - Mexico border. I will be hiking home to Canada through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. My hope with a late April start on the trail is that this years heavy snow fall in Colorado won’t demand the use snow shoes in early June - although it is a real possibility. The highest point of elevation on the CDT happens to be in Colorado in the Arapahoe National Forest at 14,278 feet elevation where adverse weather can only be expected.

Although I prefer not to have expectations of the trail or the journey back to Canada, I can be certain that I will have plenty of opportunity to face my fears, the gift of representing the queer community which I am proud to be a part of, and the love and support of my friends, family, and community.

Happy Trails!

-Fruit Salad

Trail marker by CDT Coalition

Trail marker by CDT Coalition

The coolest lizard I ever did see!

The coolest lizard I ever did see!

Elk Island Park, AB

Elk Island Park, AB

Summiting Mount Whitney @ 14,505 feet; the highest summit in the contiguous United States. CA.

Summiting Mount Whitney @ 14,505 feet; the highest summit in the contiguous United States. CA.

Kings Canyon National Forest, Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, CA

Kings Canyon National Forest, Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, CA