Finished

Date: 8/12/2019 Day: 39 Distance: 21 miles Start: 7:15 am Stop: 4 pm Steps: 52106 Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack  Camp: Back in Jasper https://w3w.co/homework.mindlessly.sitting The completion entry is the most difficult for me to write. I always have such mixed feelings. On one hand, I am happy to be finished, but on the other, I wish I could still be walking. This time, however, the feeling of relief outweighs the other feelings … at least for now. We awoke early to reach the Smokey River as soon as possible. Morning is the best time to cross because there is less …

We now return to our regularly scheduled program

Date: 8/11/2019 Day: 38 Distance: 16.5 miles Start: 8 am Stop: 6:30 pm Steps: 38148 Elevation: 5897 ft Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack  Camp:  Tenting Calumet Creek Campsite What3Words: https://w3w.co/irregular.springs.mirage After the slog yesterday and with rain expected, I was dreading today. Things turned out quite differently than imagined. It seems like God chose to treat us with one last good day on trail. The day started cloudy but no rain and typical GDT trail; that is muddy and indistinct trail. Before long we began the many fords of the moose river which provided some variety and a welcome change. Actually, the first ford …

Mud and mosquitoes

Date: 8/10/2019Day: 37 Distance: 16.5 miles Start: 8 am Stop: 8pm Steps: 42092 Elevation: 4938 ft Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack Camp: Tenting near Colonel Creek What3Words: https://w3w.co/spearmint.combines.earlier Muddy boggy mess for first 7 or 8 miles. Then hit burn zone which was described as terrible. The burn zone was the best hiking of the day; dry mostly clear of blowdowns, and fringed with huckleberries. Yum, huckleberries, so good. At lunch, Backtrack said that because of the conditions and his toe, he wanted to take a horse trail bail out alternate down to highway 16.  This would require fording the moose …

Sheila rocks

Date: 8/09/2019 Day: 36 Distance: 27.5 trail miles; 13.5 miles hiked Start: 1pm Stop: 8:30pm Steps: 38644 Elevation: 5791 ft Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack Camp: Tenting What3Words: https://w3w.co/embracing.acorn.quotas The guidebook recommends either slack packing or hitching the road walk on very busy hwy 16. Yote and I had hoped to slack pack those 12 miles but ran out of time because we didn’t find accommodations in town until 8pm. So we all agreed to hitch the road miles out of town to the trailhead. It’s the first time all of my steps are not connected on a thru hike, but …

Rest Days in Jasper

8/7/19 Backtrack’s foot seems to be getting better and the swelling is going down. The nurses told him that he had cellulitis.  Thankfully, he started the antibiotics early enough to prevent anything more serious. So the current plan is to spend another 2 nights in town and then head out. Yote and I mailed a box to Robson (Valemont) so we plan to go there and delay the decision for Kakwa. This gives us more flexibility. I’ve flip-flopped dozens of times in the past few days on this choice. I’d like to go to Kakwa, but there are good reasons, …

Update

8/6/19 Just a quick update. I’m in Jasper for a couple zero days. I will update the journal when I get some time alone. Backtrack has a serious soft tissue infection in his pinky toe that is moving into his foot. He is getting IV antibiotics now. We will decide what our next steps our based on his progress. I would like to at least get to Robson Provincial Park.

Skyline …

Date: 8/04/2019 Day: 31 Distance: 27 miles Start: 7:15 pm Stop: 8:30 pm Steps: 64820 Elevation: 3404 ft Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack Camp: Tenting near Jasper What3Words: https://w3w.co/orchestral.leap.alphabets Wow! What a difference to have good trail. The GDT has made me think that I had lost a step or three, but today was fantastic. 27 miles and I could have easily gone the 31 to town, but it’s much better to nero in and then get most of the day for town chores. The skyline trail was wonderful with amazing views. As usual, my pictures will not capture it. As …

Bad Line

Date: 8/03/2019 Day: 30 Distance: 25 miles Start: 7:15 am Stop: 8:30 pm Steps: 62993 Elevation: 5991 ft Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack, Fireball Camp: Tenting at Evelyn campsite What3Words: https://w3w.co/calling.tights.amnesty The Maligne trail certainly lived up to its name. The fact that there are no photos says it all…. The morning was pretty ok with a nice climb up to Maligne Pass and some time in the alpine. Then we descended into the Maligne valley and the suffering began. Of course it was no Kiwetinok Alternate. At least there was trail. Just a lot of rain, mosquitoes, head high willows, …

Finally good trail

Date: 8/02/2019 Day: 29 Distance: 23 miles Start: 8:15 am Stop: 7:00 pm Steps: 53628 Elevation: 6740 ft Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack, Fireball Camp: Tenting at Avalanche campground What3Words: https://w3w.co/contributions.prime.folded Again I’m pretty tired. Long climb up to Jonas Shoulder which is one of the highest points on the GDT. I was a bit blah in the morning and dwelt too much on family back home. Almost had myself convinced to end the hike at Jasper. Lunch reinvigorated me and I’m in a better head space now. I’ll definitely go to an official terminus; if not Kakwa, then Robson. Had …

Just one long gradual climb, no problem

Date: 8/01/2019 Day: 28 Distance: 20 miles Start: 8:30 am Stop: 8:45 pm Steps: 51003 Elevation: 6372 Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack, Fireball Camp: Tenting at four points campground Jasper NP What3Words: https://w3w.co/climbers.entrust.frontline What a spectacular day! The scenery from the midpoint on was fantastic. Like great slabs of the earth were suddenly thrust up from one end forming giant ramps; now snow topped or holding giant hanging glaciers. I’m sure my pictures will be inadequate. I expected an easy 20 miles today, but it didn’t turn out that way. There were a fair bit of navigation challenges since the trail …