This is a reanimation of the Vicaribus blog as lived by Miro Kazakoff and Ehren Foss in 2004 and 2005.
The photos may be spotty.
A Continent divided
Posted by Miro
Yesterday I crossed the continental divide 6 times: a new personal best. Annely, Ehrenís college friend, and I had set out in the morning for one of the more challenging trail hikes in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park . Our plan was to hike up to Dawsonís Pass: a 6.9 mile hike with a 2450í vertical climb to a crest on the Continental Divide.
The hike up wasnít as bad as I had feared, and we made it Dawsonís Pass after few hours. Annely was pretty psyched as it was her first time above the tree line, and for both of us the highest elevation we had ever stood on (8500 feet above sea level). The divide at the pass is a gently rounded ridge with rocky fragments around it. Not even close to the tallest thing in the area, the divide is still pretty easy to follow given that itís a clear and continuous ridge through that area. You could even see the flat plains coming right up to the mountains in the distance.
Our thrill at being on the actual Continental Divide made us a little giddy. We raced back and forth across the divide several times, first to spit into both oceans (or rather the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean). Then we ran back and forth a few times announcing with each pass exactly how many times we had crossed the divide that day.
Between the euphoria of the endorphins and the lack of oxygen at that elevation, we considered pushing further on along the loop trail that went back to the campground rather than backtrack our initial path. The loop trail added another 5 miles to our trip, but (as I confirmed with the group lunching near the pass) it didnít add much elevation. That the group near the pass were all young, blond, beautiful and healthy looking and were doing the full loop probably also inspired us to push on.
The rest of the trail took us along the rocky far side of the ridge. Despite stunning scenery, my memories of that part of the trip are all looking down to make sure my feet were firmly planted in the loose moraine that littered that side of the ridge. We did stop to get a few hero pictures of us on rocky outcroppings over the valley.
Iím glad we pushed through to the other portion of the loop trail, but by mile 16 of 17.6 miles my feet were in agony. Annely was so thrilled at the hike that she practically skipped along the trail while I plodded. At one point she told me to backtrack 10 feet to a beautiful clearing I had missed. I refused.
We made it back to the bus and tried to mute our enthusiasm around Ehren, who had stayed behind to work that day. The pain in my feet made it easy for me, but we did get a couple of gently sarcastic ďOh yeah, thatís great,Ē as we gave a barely subdued version of the highlights.
I cooked dinner for the crew and then promptly passed out at 9:30.
Today I was the one to take it easy. My friend Mike from high school(check out his website) is visiting. We attempted to rent boats at the lake near the campground weíre staying at tonight, but they donít have small boat rentals. So we took the scenic cruise around the lake, hiked up to some of the fall and have spent the rest of the afternoon campout in the bus while Ehren and the inexhaustible Annely try to summit one of the peaks. I might add here that there arenít any formal trails to any of the peaks in the park. The plan is to follow a marked trail as high as possible and then to follow goat paths up to the summit. Oh yeah, itís raining.