Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CDT: Part 1, Done.

Getting back on w/ Addie
This is the hardest post to write.  After taking two weeks off in Lander and attempting to get back on the trail, we were forced again to get off after a few days in the Wind Rivers due to my continued elevated pulse.  We have decided to leave the trail for this year and will resume our journey to Canada next summer. 

Our Lander host, Alice Brew, dropped off Sara and our friend Addie and me at the trail head after it seemed I had recovered.  We made decent time and thought all was great as we passed the spot where we had to turn around two weeks earlier.  As we entered the trees (finally, trees!) and started to climb, however, my heart rate shot up.  The slightest incline shot it over 140.  We managed the rest of the day and after passing signs to watch for grizzlies tearing apart a previously buried carcass we camped in a beautiful meadow. 

Beaver dam flooded this bridge
I had hoped that my heart rate was high due to just being out of shape from being off trail for so long, since we both had extra aches and pains, but by the afternoon of the second day it was clear that things were not normal.  The scenery was beautiful though.  It was great to get back into the mountains and camped on an unnamed lake at the base of a huge craggy mountain face. 

The next day we had lunch on a lake at the base of Temple and East Temple mountains before heading over the pass to Temple Lake.  Here, we saw the remnants of a glacier; a stark reminder that our world is changing.  The valley down to Big Sandy lake was gorgeous.  East Temple Peak provided a 2,000' backdrop as we lake hopped down the sheer glacial valley.  It took us all day to do 8 miles since we frequently stopped to allow my heart rate to drop back below 100.  It was not a bad place to need to stop though.  We could spend weeks in that valley.

Lunch spot
Temple Lake
After camping in the Big Sandy area we got out to the Big Sandy trailhead and managed to find a ride.  We were hoping to get a ride at least close to Lander, but the guy was heading to Salt Lake and for some reason went through Pinedale.  If you look at a map you will see that Pinedale is not at all on the way to Salt Lake, much less Lander.  We ended up renting a car so we could drive up to Brooks Lake and retrieve Addie's car.  Turns out we would have been forced around the Winds anyway due to fires that broke out in front of us.  Timing is everything. 

After driving back through the smoke-hazy Tetons, we took a few days to get back to Flagstaff and managed to see one of my old friends in the Rifle, CO area (Ryan Glassman) before staying with one of Addie's friends in Aspen.  We then drove over Independence Pass, had an awesome lunch in Salida (totally recommend the bakery/deli there) and camped just south of Durango.  Watching the mountains fly by as we traveled south through Colorado was depressing.  We spent a long time trying to get north through there and it was all undone in a few hours. 

There should be a glacier, instead it is a snowfield.
I managed to get into a doctor on Monday who ruled out heat exhaustion, so we were back to square one.  Since my resting heart rate never got below 78 on the trail those few days (typically in the 40's within minutes of stopping) and still remains in the high 60's, she thinks something else ails me.  She ordered numerous tests and referred me to a cardiologist, so we are still trying to figure things out.  

As we pulled into Flagstaff, both of us really just wanted to turn around and head back north.  Mentally, neither of us are prepared or capable of being home right now.  It was such an abrupt end to our journey for this year that it is hard to comprehend that last week we were still heading north, on foot.  We saw a few friends in town, but that was about all we can handle. As soon as we know what is wrong with me we are getting out of town to try and figure out how to re-enter society. We are hoping a road trip up to see Sara's sister in Bend, OR
and find my brother on the PCT will help.  All-in-all we would much rather be hiking. 

At this point we would like to thank everyone who supported and followed us through the hike this year.  It would have been much more difficult without the help of our friends and families.  We are going to keep occasionally updating the blog with our adventures and will definitely resume the blog with part 2 of our hike July 1, next year. 

Happy Trails!

-Track and Field


  1. I've been following you guys from the beginning.. fellow flagstaffians and all. So sorry to hear things stopped short for you. A long distance trail hike has been a dream of mine. It was nice to follow you.. and look forward to following you next year for its completion. Recover, regroup, and finish it up next year. Best wishes to you both. Welcome home. Scott

  2. I've been following your hike since you started in NM and I am sorry about your medical condition. I would have bet money that you guys would have made it. I am looking forward to next July when you continue your hike. Good luck and I hope you get well.

  3. Dave and Linda RozemaAugust 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Forrest and Sara- THANK YOU for sharing this amazing adventure with us! Following your trip has been so awesome for us. Your blogs and pics have been inspirational. Congrats to both of you and best wishes for a diagnosis and quick recovery for Track. We're sure Zeno is happy!!!
    All the best, Dave and Linda Rozema

  4. Take care of yourself first. You guys were the best people to have scoop me on the five star trail accommodation. :)))) Get it figured out and get back after it.
    Sean (mtnrat)