Four teams are out on the trail this week, one of which you've already heard from via podcast. Here's a rundown of what they're up to, as well as the three other teams:
Andy Gregory: Team co-leader. Wildlife ecologist/landscape geneticist; has observed wolf-elk interactions in
Sarah Gregory: Team co-leader. 10th grade teacher (algebra); experienced backpacker; map collector; wife to Andy.
Susan Hmurciakova: backcountry trail ranger,
Dan Larson: Professional writer; racing cyclist; avid hiker.
Kristin Hostetter: Long-time gear editor for Backpacker magazine.
Catherine Buni: Avid backpacker, Kristin’s long-time hiking partner.
The Diamondback Four (Team 6)
Alissa Leavitt-Reynolds: Forest Service archeological surveyor; REI GPS whiz.
Adam Reynolds: Experienced hiker, strong technical background (including a BS in physics and a brand new MSc in mechanical engineering). Alissa’s husband.
Ruth Kirkpatrick: Has harbored a long-time interest in the CDT; lover of the unexplored West.
Chupacabras (Team 10)
Don Kerzel: Team leader. Has been on family trips up
Xochitl Diaz: avid backpacker; self-proclaimed sucker for big challenges.
Patrick Reuter: Graduate degree in physical geography; winemaker; brother-in-law to Don.
Jennifer Barrons: Geocacher; amateur photgrapher.
Dylan Tichenor: Amateur photographer; on his 9th or 10th GPS unit; Jennifer's husband.
Another border-bridging team, 28 will start at the Colorado-Wyoming border and hike north from FR 550 to county road 401. The path takes them toward the Great Divide Basin, an area where the Divide plunges down from the high Colorado Rockies and splits around a BLM-managed patch of high plains near Rawlins. The Rawlins area, as it so happens, is the site of a recent easement, taking the CDT off of roads (the route has been on roadways through there since it was first designated). Team 28 won't quite make it to the hot, dry flats of the basin, and will instead work its way through the greener, more scenic Medicine Bow National Forest. Team members are:
Nancy Mathison: Team leader. Sierra Club National Outings trip leader; quite the backcountry cook.
Brian Payne: Co-star (with Michelle) of the YouTube Powerbar extravaganza.
Michelle Marincel: See above, and watch the video for more on the couple.
Seth Stallings: Fresh off a tour of duty with the Navy; skilled officer and avid hiker.