GPS HIKES & MAPS: Trip Search Products Using GPS

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Team 40: Day 5

After 69 miles of hiking, Dwight and his wife, Marita, finished their leg of the CDT at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Water proved to be scarce on this section--some springs on the map were dry. Despite that, there was no dry spells of wildlife. They spotted an estimated 360 elk on their last day. Hear more in their final trail report below:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Rolling Yellowstones sent us a few pictures from their CDT scout in Yellowstone last week, so we created a quick slideshow. Warning: Photos may inspire you to go hiking.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Team 40: Day 4

It was cold last night along the Montana Divide (25 degrees F), but it didn't keep the elk from chatting up Dwight and Marita at sunrise. And once they got on the trail, still more megafauna joined them along their route -- chalk it up as the projects' first wolf sighting.

UTM coordinates: 12T 0334026E 4952650N

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Few Days on the Trail

We'd thought Dwight and Marita were being awfully quiet out there. Thankfully we stumbled on their diligent podcasts, stashed in a formerly unknown folder. So without further ado, their progress thus far:

Saturday Evening:
The pair had a later start than expected, spending hours shuttling to their trailhead. But the payoff sounds just right: a quiet spot on a lake brimming with lively fish; green, open country; and a moose sighting in camp.

UTM coordinates: 12T 0351951E 4922430N

Sunday Evening:

Hiking through foothills on the eastern slope of the Divide, the two encountered a few patches of confusing trail. At one point Dwight mentions Nicholi...more on him in the next podcast.

UTM coordinates: 12T 0344256E 4925610N

Monday Evening:

The day's hike was confusing at times, and Dwight & Marita had to backtrack twice as a result. Still, spirits are high and the llamas are well fed. Yes, llamas. Dwight is known to hike with the hearty packers from time to time, and this trip is no exception. No telling what all those elk and moose think of their South American brethren.

UTM coordinates: 12T 0339264E 4935502

Extra Boost!

The generous folks at Sharkies are donating a package of their organic fruit chews to each team member. These healthy treats will help replace minerals and electrolytes lost on those big climbs along the Continental Divide. Top explorers and pro cyclists, like Levi Leipheimer, swear by them. Check out their nutritional facts.

This Week's Lineup

Last week The Rolling Yellowstones had a fine time in Wyoming with plenty of time to stop and pose with geysers and wildlife. There were no bear sightings, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing, but the team came away with some good stories nonetheless. As they settle back into daily routines this week, look for some photos and an overview of the trip.

There is one team out this week, the husband-wife duo that is Team 40. The pair, Dwight and Marita, will be heading into the wilds of Montana and Idaho, covering a section running from Bannack Pass to Bannock Pass. No typo here -- in this case there is a 55-mile difference between an A and an O.

The trip will take them through a handful of national forests: the Targhee, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and the Salmon. More on their progress to come...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dahlgren & Probar Hit the Trail

Two gear sponsors signed on to the project this week: Dahlgren Socks and Probar. The former will be keeping volunteers' feet wrapped in an alpaca-merino-acrylic blend to fight off blisters; the latter will be adding a stash of Superfood Slam bars to each team's food bag.

Check out each company's site for a better look at what's in store for Continental Divide Trail Project teams.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Sample Section

The data that Team Southern Terminus brought back has been sifted through, edited and rewritten, and has found its home on It's a great example of what the end product looks like, and may help upcoming teams get a better feel for what they're after on their respective hikes.

You can find it online here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dateline: Cibola NF

Team 5, the group that returned from a trip to New Mexico last month (as covered in a May 31 post, pictured here doing some pre-trip planning), was recently featured in an excellent article in the Columbia Daily Tribune out of Columbia, Missouri. Team member Mary Twenter penned the piece, which provides an insightful day-by-day breakdown of the trip.

Check it out on the Tribune website for some great photos and a good look at how a trip comes together in the field.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Team Update: Day 1

The Rolling Yellowstones send out a round of introductions from the trailhead as they begin their trip. And here's a little more background on the team:

Kevin Anderson: Team leader. Attorney; past Backpacker map contributor; GPSed Ennis Peak, a new one in Utah.
Bev Wert: Seasonal Yellowstone employee; has hiked all over the park, including a 40-mile weekend.
Mary McKinney: Yellowstone backcountry resource manager and related GPS experience; Bev's sister-in-law.
Jason Wozniak: Past Road Less Traveled guide; Social studies teacher in Rio de Janeiro; has developed GIS projects for high school students.

And for all you Portuguese-speaking listeners, this is the podcast for you.

UTM coordinates:
12N 0513776E 4922180N

Not a podcast, but...

The Yellowstone team sent an update via e-mail this morning before hitting the trail (a park map may help you get a better feel for the area)...

Howdy! The Rolling Yellowstones are enjoying a breakfast of bagles and fruit with a view of Lake Yellowstone this AM. Sharing photos of the local wildlife and funny visitor stories have kept the team entertained since our rendevous at the Dogshead trailhead yesterday.

We had a great evening taking a short hike on the Elephant Back trail to a dramatic view of Lake Yellowstone with thunder heads and a little snow and hail thrown in for fun. We then went to the Lake General Store for burgers and ice cream. This morning we woke to two large Bison and a calf and Mary and Bev have been warning us the whole time about grizzly bears, which are abundant in the area ("don't go anywhere without your bear spray"). I feel like a gun slinger with my trusty bear spray by my side. This is a great group with most of us being "mature" in age with Jason being 32 a "quasi-carioca do Brasil." We are excited to hit probably the only part of the CDT that runs by major geyser basins.

-The Rolling Yellowstones

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Rolling Yellowstones

Team 35b, better known as The Rolling Yellowstones, is the only group out this week. This is the project's first group to head to a National Park (not to mention out of New Mexico), and with a pair of team members that often work for Yellowstone on board, they're enjoying a stay at the staff cabins tonight. They'll be hitting the trail tomorrow morning, hiking southeast from Old Faithful to the west end of Shoshone Lake. All told their section will cover roughly 20 miles of the actual CDT, allowing plenty of time to check out other parts of the park.

This stretch of trail is fairly well-traveled and runs through some of the more active parts of the park. The Upper Geyser Basin (home to Old Faithful, captured with gawkers in this 1972 park photo) is a classic slice of Americana and boasts the largest concentration of geysers in the world. About mid-hike the team will find the West Thumb Geyser Basin, a spot near Yellowstone Lake packed with more hydrothermal activity/photo ops.

The park has produced and posted several online informational videos, and one epsiode in particular gives a nod to the Continental Divide. Check out Park Ranger Beth Taylor's Inside Yellowstone for more of what The Rolling Yellowstones have to look forward to.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Team 11: Post-trip Update

After making quick work of some 46 miles of trail, Team 11/No Melvins has made it back to their starting point at the Los Pinos trailhead. The team encountered only one other, a thru-hiker, over the course of the week; as Jim says, the remote, varied stretch of land provides a "very good micro-view of the Continental Divide Trail."

UTM coordinates: 13N 0328646E 3997087N

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Your Public Awaits

Seems the adventures volunteers are having along the trail are drawing some interest; last Sunday the Lafayette, Ind., Journal & Courier featured an account of local Dean Rainwater's time spent mapping in New Mexico. You may have read about Team Four's trip in a May 23 post, but check out Sunday's article for a closer look at Dean's experience.

The online article links to a photo gallery as well, which nicely showcases some of Dean's personal shots of the trip. The picture posted here was taken while the team waited out a hailstorm on the high plains.

If you come across similar articles about the project in your local paper, drop us a line and we'll spread news of it in future posts. It can work the other way as well -- if you have a story idea related to the project, our marketing team can start up a relationship with local media.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Technical Snag

Team 'No Melvins' has sent word that their sat phone hasn't been cooperating in the way of podcasts, so the lack of news from the field doesn't indicate the status of the trip. Gabcast, the service through which we post audio updates, is typically accessed by calling into a toll-free 800 number; it just so happens that satellite phones, being international, often have a hard time locking on to those area code-free numbers.

Once the team is clued into a new access number, updates should start rolling in. So keep an eye out for some coming news from the wilds of New Mexico...

Monday, June 11, 2007

No Melvins

Team 11, also known as 'No Melvins' (we'll have to ask why when they return from the field) is hitting the trail this week, shaking things up after last week's quiet spell. The team is heading to Cuba, NM, from which they'll find the Los Pinos trailhead and hike north through the Santa Fe National Forest to Skull Bridge. No epic battle awaits at the end of the trip, proof that placenames can't always be trusted.

We sent a satellite phone their way, so word should be coming in from The Land of Enchantment before too long.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Same Idea, Different Latitude

Miguel "Mike" Esquivel, the co-leader for Team 50a (soon to be renamed), is signing on to the CDT project with some good experience already under his belt. The 45-year-old dual U.S. and Panamanian citizen has made it his mission to create the first trans-Panamanian Trail, cutting through jungle from the Colombian border to Costa Rica.

His vision involves an all-volunteer effort, making the CDT project a great fit for his idea of what trail scouting and building is all about.

Mike's team hits the CDT on August 6, reporting on a 60-mile segment through Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wildernesses.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Power of Powerbar

Our next team doesn't hit the trail until next week. Until then, let's ponder an important question:

What happens when you leave two engineering students in Rolla, Missouri with a box of Powerbars? Watch this video.

Michelle and Brian will help scout roughly 49 miles Medicine Bow National Forest in mid-July.

Kris Wagner, Map Editor