Daily Archives: May 4, 2012

Continental Divide Trail

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[Today’s run: 1 mile with the dog in mid-day heat]

I think it’s been 7 or 8 years ago.  I read an article in a magazine and they talked about “working vacations”.  One that caught my eye was doing trail  maintenance for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance.  So I went to the CDTA website  and downloaded their volunteer guide.

The CDTA’s job was to mark, map and organize the Continental Divide Trail,  much  like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.

The guide was a nicely organized presentation of projects that they had planned for the upcoming summer.  One caught my eye,  a week tent-camping in RMNP, hiking up the North Inlet Trail and working from a base to do various maintenance projects.  Pick and shovel stuff.  If I remember right, it was free.  I signed up and, at the appropriate time, drove over to Grand Lake and set out with the group.  It was an interesting week, very nice to meet some of the regular park trail maintainers who acted as our bosses.

The next summer I again got the volunteer guide.  They made special mention that they needed cooks.  It was kind of on a whim that I invited my teenaged daughter along.  She and I didn’t do much together, and I half-way didn’t expect her to be interested.  But she was! That year we drove up to Pinedale, Wyoming.  We backpacked in 8 miles to a lake.  She and I shared the cooking chores and I also helped with the bridge replacement project.

The year after that we went up west of Butte, Montana.  And the final year we went down near Silver Springs, New Mexico.  So we made three trips together.  It was a lot of fun.

On a whim I went over to the CDTA website today and discovered that they have closed up shop for lack of funding.  Other agencies are still doing trail projects though.

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May 4, 2012
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