I have some good news. The issues with Waterton Lakes isn’t such a big deal after all. I can enter different trails further north and connect with the GDT using the “Font Creek” trail. It looks quite pretty after a quick google and there’s ways to extend it, so it’ll be a similar length hike. Photography, camping and hiking have always been my priorities, and this shouldn’t change that too much!
You can follow my instagram, it’s kinda bare at the moment but it’ll be the easiest thing to post with. I haven’t tried wordpress on mobile though, perhaps it’ll be okay :).
When I’ve improved at photography and have done hikes I’m passionate about, I will probably change my site completely to make it look more professional. At the moment, most of my content consists of gear reviews and I’m not very passionate about writing them. It has made me really, really respect well thought out reviews though. Those must take people ages to make :).
I’m blessed with really good luck. The start of the Great Divide Trail in Canada is burned, so I have to navigate around Waterton.
I emailed various park people in Canada to book my camping reservations. Waterton is the first place you’ll arrive (assuming you’re hiking south to North) but it’s the last place you should book because you can only book it 90 days in advance. If you wait and try to book the other places later, they’ll be full. I emailed the Waterton people and they initially made it seem like the area would be opened up in the summer. I waited a while, then emailed them again and informed them I was ready to book the final two places:
Unfortunately the Waterton portion of the Great Divide Trail will not be accessible at all this year. All of our back country campgrounds are within the closed area as well, so at this time there is no way to reserve camping at Boundary Bay or Lone Lake. At this time it looks like you will need to meet the Waterton Shoreline Cruise boat at Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park and get off at the village of Waterton, or hike out past Belly River Lakes to the Chief Mountain Border crossing. From there you would likely have to travel north by car to the West Castle area west of Pincher Creek to pick up the trail again. I recognise and empathise with this inconvenience.
Naturally this is a it disappointing. I’m banned from entering the US. I can’t take the American routes they’ve suggested but I think I can create a new route. It’s a bit difficult because I’m not familiar with Canada at all. I also have to get my hike time and reservation times to match up. If I’m two days early, the reservations are pointless and I am liable for a fine. I wish they’d let me hike in the burned areas, even if it’s dangerous. Perhaps there’s other reasons, like harming new plant life or something. That I can respect.
For now, swearing at inanimate objects works well.
A while ago I played around with GPX files and uploading them to a Google Fusion table. You can upload them to google maps (the best method for smaller files) but the file can only be a few miles long which is really, really annoying.
I discovered fusion tables was the way to go but it’s quite a complicated process.
Given that there’s been wildfires on the Great Divide Trail, and I will probably have to find another route, recording a trail might be useful. It won’t be available for this years hikers (because I’ll have to do the hike, then edit the file when I get home) but it might be useful for future hikers! I will try write down a little note about supplies in the area or that kind of thing. Fusion tables lets you add a lot actually, so I guess I could add it to the map, possibly (it’s reallllllllllllllllllllllllllly boring to do though, lol).
Some people suggest bounce boxes or mailing your supplies, but given that I’m from England, it’s a lot, lot more difficult. I can’t promise I will make extremely useful notes because I want to enjoy the hike and in my free time I want to take photographs, but if there’s anything you want me to make a note of, let me know and I’ll try.
Certain questions I have (silly things like water supply, washing, etc.), I’ll write down, hopefully answer them on the trail, and then if you have similar questions perhaps they’ll be answered.
Happy Easter everyone :).
Unfortunately, I have run into some unforeseen financial and health troubles. My legs work, and I will still be doing the hike (even if I have to sell a load of stuff). It’s just I’m in a depressing situation so I haven’t been around much. I don’t feel comfortable talking about it much further than that.
My plan is to try get a lot of nice photographs and build a following, so I feel even if I were comfortable writing about it, now is not the time as I want my site to be positive!
On a more positive note, it’s only a minor thing but Gatwick Airport and Air Transat have both agreed, via email, that it’s okay if I bring my titanium knife to Canada. I’m waiting to hear from Canadian customs if it’s legal to import though. Terrorists really screw things up for innocent people.