Along Montana & Idaho's

Continental Divide Trail

by Lynna Howard


Presented below is an excerpt from a sample chapter.
See the
Books link for more information.
© Lynna Howard and Westcliffe Publishers.
Do not copy or distribute without permission.


    We began our Continental Divide trek at the western border of Yellowstone National Park, and ended up, more than 800 miles later, at the southeastern border of Glacier National Park. We hiked through sagebrush, open pinyon-juniper forests, grasslands, aspen groves, vertical jail cells of lodgepole pines, park-like ponderosa pine forests, white pine, Douglas-fir, krummholz clinging to survival like twisted dwarves, avalanche chutes, alpine tundra, and more. We hiked below cliff faces one thousand feet high and forded rivers in shadowed canyons. So what could Glacier National Park offer that we hadn't already seen?

    The Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park is like the rest of the trail—but on steroids. No hyperbole is too pumped up. The Park's scenery will sink you to your knees or roll you over like a log going downriver. Give up, give in, prepare to be changed.

Image below is of Bearhat Mountain,
near Logan Pass in Glacier National Park.
Photo courtesy of Leland Howard.

Excerpt from PrueHeart the Wanderer’s diary:


    All is not lost, though it seems we conspire against ourselves to lose everything. Still, glaciers pause before us with their blue hearts exposed in fissures.

    With aristocratic disdain, burly mountain goats look down at us from green ledges hung on gray walls sliced by glacial knives. Mountain goats walk behind falling water. White ghosts tightrope-walk in a mist of wind and water.

    This is the land of water. Water flows from hanging cirques, over walls a thousand feet high. Water feathers in the wind and drops in secret places, and in known places that have a tourist-season name. Feather Plume, Dawn Mist, Hidden, Garden, Veil, Red Eagle, Swiftcurrent. No names are adequate to the task. The waterfalls come roaring down ten to a valley, twelve to an arête, until the falls are the voice of the Park


—© Lynna Howard

Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park, view from the Continental Divide Trail.

Photo courtesy of Robert Howard.





Are you psyched up? Ready to go?
Put on the brakes.
Glacier comes with a price
.

    This is the only place along the Idaho/Montana route that requires reservations for backcountry travel. This is also the place where we had our most dangerous encounters with bears. In the Park we had our most irritating confrontations with humankind.

    Glacier requires advance reservations and charges fees. Park officials ask visitors to fill out a raft of paperwork or online forms. There are reams of rules to decipher. Reservations for the hiking season are taken beginning May 1st. Get yours in as early as possible. See http://www.nps.gov/glac.

    See Lynna Howard’s Books link to purchase the guidebook covering the CDT in Glacier National Park, or the coffee table book (featuring larger photos by Leland Howard, and trail stories by Lynna Howard).





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