We are done! Finished with the CDT!
Starting out in New Mexico, exactly four months ago, this moment was anything but certain. We didn’t even have a plan to make it the final miles to the northern terminus (you can’t ride bikes there), and some of the ideas to reach it were pretty wild.
In the end we went with the longer road approach, and the odd one where we hike southbound from the Canadian side. It worked out beautifully.
The hike was icy and awkward. Then it was slushy and cold. But it was only 4 miles to the border.
We celebrated, took photos. After sitting for a snack, 4 hikers walked up! Wolverine, Northern Strider, Snowplow and Beaker. They were finishing the trail too, and two were finishing their triple crown. Woah. Pretty cool to share the finish with hikers, just as we have shared the trail with them all summer.
The ferry came by and some people on the boat waved, many took photos. I yelled out, “we just finished the CDT!!!!” One of the hikers walked out onto the dock and tried to get them to land and pick us up. The boat kept going.
So we walked back. The ice had softened up, so we were able to jog sections and move faster. We sung songs and ditties. Almost done, just a little bit more walking.
We took a celebratory lunch at the Prince of Wales hotel, which sits on a hill above Waterton, commanding an impressive view. Sitting at the table, with Eszter, we were able to start letting the finish soak in. Deep satisfaction and deep gratitude. Shared with my love and best adventuring partner ever. It was a moment I wished would never end.
A 2:30 shuttle awaited. They took our bikes without question. The shuttle from the border to East Glacier was less certain — on the phone they had told me ‘no bikes.’ But there was room — only us and the hikers, and the driver was friendly, so we took front wheels off and threw them in the back. At Chief Mountain we also saw hikers Chilli and Pepper, finishing their triple crown (the road border crossing is an alternate CDT finish). Chilli is only 15 years old — super impressive.
On the way the shuttle took us to Many Glaciers, another impressive spot in the park. We were pretty happy to see a little more of Glacier.
We’re now in East Glacier, staying at a hostel — again with a bunch of hikers. Some done, some with just a few days to go. The owner gave us a free slice of pie for finishing! Score. All we need now is a rental car, and we’ll be back in Boulder, truly off the trail.
It’s overwhelming to think of how fortunate we are to have pulled this off, and how fortunate we are to have the opportunity and ability to do so. Grateful, so grateful. For everything.
Huge thanks to everyone that has helped us along the way. Thanks for the encouraging comments, the trail beta/suggestions, and for reading along. The MTB and hiking communities are beyond awesome.
More reflection and definitely more photos to come!