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[cdt-l] (Guest Post) CDT thru-hike questions

* Message posted to CDT-L from the National Scenic Trails Website
* by our guest Chris Ramias  <cramias@hotmail.com>.
* Please use <mailto:cramias@hotmail.com> to reply to the sender.

Greetings everyone,

I am in the beginning stages of planning for a CDT thru-hike in 2003.  I will be going N->S, as I will be graduating college spring 2003 and cannot get out until at least mid-June.  Given the nature of this trail, I naturally have a lot of questions that Id like to ask:

1.  First of all, I would like to hike w/ a partner  for the stretch of trail between Glacier NP and Yellowstone, for safety in snow and grizzly country.  If anyone else out there is planning a 2003 N->S hike, please get in touch w/ me at cramias@hotmail.com.  Id prefer to hike w/ someone that has prior long-distance hiking experience (I hiked a 1000-mile chunk of the PCT in 2000), but will welcome all comers.  Also, if you are planning a S->N thruhike or some kind of flip-flop, please also get in touch w/ me so we can exchange ideas, routes and other info.

2.  I am planning to take the most scenic route possible, and would like to avoid walking on roads, either tarmac or dirt, as much as possible.  I suspect following this plan will involve a lot of cross-country hiking, and I am a bit nervous about setting off cross-country using only Forest Service maps.  For those of you who hiked sections using only FS maps, how easy did you find it?  Ive done some 3-4 day trips around AZ with only FS maps, but I would have some trepidation about setting off on a 100-mile section with only a planimetric map. Perhaps one solution would be to use FS maps, and supplement them with Delorme Atlas maps to give myself a general idea of the topography.  Any suggestions?

3.  I am going to take the Amtrak into East Glacier to start my hike.  Is it possible to hitch from E. Glacier to Waterton in Mid-June?  What would be the best way to get from point A to point B?

4.  Are there any online CDT hiker journals?  I found a brief one on gorp.com, and a few other that detail section hikes.  But I have not been able to find any journals that cover an entire thruhike, akin to the ones available about AT and PCT. 

5. I am going to be on a pretty tight budget for the whole hike, and because of that I am trying to limit the amount of money I spend in towns.  Towns ate up a LOT of the money I spent hiking the PCT.   I also think I spent too much time/days off in motels on the PCT, so I am wanting to eliminate or reduce that expense on this trip.  Id rather be out in the wilderness anyways.  Below is the list of towns that I am planning to resupply in, if anyone has information on camgrounds/hostels in these towns, please reply.  Ive already included information on cheap lodging that I was able to gather from the Owens excellent posts.

East Glacier-2 hiker hostels
Lincoln-camping at the local park
Wisdom-? (Would Salmon, ID be a better choice?)
Leadore-camping at city park N. of town, possible camping next to grocery store
Yellowstone-Im guessing that there is probably camping available
Towgotee Pass Resort-?
Big Sandy Lodge-?
 Steamboat Springs-?
Grand Lake-Shadowcliff hostel
Silverthorn-Hostel close to trail on Jim Wolfs route
Twin Lakes-?
Pagosa Springs-?
Chama-Campground w/ laundromat
Ghost Ranch-?
Cuba-hostel (5 miles out of town)
Grants-parents will meet me from Albuquerque
Pie Town-camping at Jackson Park
Gila Hot Springs-campgrounds
Undoubtedly, there will be times when I  stealth camp near the town the night before and then try to do all my town business in one day.  And I am allowing myself 2-3 motel stays for comfort and sanity maintenance.  But I would still like to know when it will be possible for me to stay in or close to town, and do full rest days that fit within my budget.  Also, if you can see alternate towns  I might use that would work better with what Im planning, please let me know.

Thanks for any info you can give me,

Chris Ramias (aka Lizard)