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Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman's Journey

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A how-to adventure for both armchair and real-life hikers. Foreword by Steve Dudley, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Alliance.

An avid outsoorswoman, West Point graduate and former Captain in the U.S. Army, Jennifer Hanson — with her husband Greg Allen — set off to thru-hike the 2,400-mile Continental Divide Trail. Together they traversed:

*Arid ranchland
Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published (first published February 1st 2011)
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Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I've read about the CDT. After reading a lot about the Appalachian Trail, the CDT seems like it would be quite lonely, though the views may be worth it! (Also, this could have changed since 1997.) I certainly admire Jennifer Hanson for her accomplishment, hiking the CDT and the majority of it alone. However, like other reviewers I am baffled by the "About the Author" section. Hanson is happily married to Greg, a character you get to know fairly well. But at the end the re ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Good trail description of the CDT from an interesting narrator. I particularly liked the part of the hike she did solo, and yearn to set out on my own! There are also sections at the end on what she packed, how she planned, etc., which is always interesting.
Linds Roberts
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written account of thru-hiking the CDT in the late 1990's, before some of the current trail improvements were made. Jenn and her husband flip-flopped hiked several sections of the trail together before a foot injury forced Jenn to finish the hike alone, a valuable growth experience.
What I've love to know--the bio mentions Jenn is with a different partner now. Would love a second book that continues her story and shares the next phase of her journey!
Cindy Coats
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer writes so clearly about her experience hiking the divide! I look forward to her more detailed version where she talks about reflecting on her marriage that eventually ended, and she later remarried. It's an honest tale of something big and brave and is very inspiring. Highly recommend! ...more
I saw some negative reviews of this book before I read it, but I really liked it. I thought it was very interesting. I am probably not ever hiking any long distances, but I do like to hike, so it was interesting for me to read about Hanson's hike. ...more
Solid. When Hanson set out with her (then-)husband to hike the CDT, they more or less knew what they were in for...but of course rarely do things go as planned. From the beginning, her husband struggled with a foot injury; meanwhile, back home, Hanson's father was dying. Eventually, after her husband's foot proved too much, Hanson finished the hike alone.

She maintains a nice balance throughout of external and internal—rather less 'I walked this far and ate X and it rained and the next day I walk
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel, nature
Bored, so bored reading what should have been an exciting adventure on the most rugged of the three US long trails. Honestly, after suffering through tedious descriptions of needing to pee and looking for water while hiking in New Mexico, I had to skip ahead. (Why are you worried about searching for a water tank five miles down the road while you’re sitting in a restaurant eating burritos? Ask the restaurant for some tap water!!!) Was it that the Jen and Greg were boring or was it the desert lan ...more
Jane Blanchard
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right from the prologue, Jennifer Hanson hooked me with her captivating story and beautiful descriptions. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman's Journey is a fast-paced story of her six month adventure. Though Ms. Hanson hiked the first portion with her husband and she does reveal moments of tenderness towards him, the book is her story. I loved the way she lets the reader into her mind as she struggles with finding herself on the trail. During the hike, she deals with her father's rec ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: autobiography
She and her husband (who dropped out partway through) hiked in the late 1990s, but the dedication mentions only her partner Denise and their children--and a decade together. Given the publication date, the big unanswered question of when she left Greg and found Denise, and how, hangs over the whole book. Considering all the momentous self-discovery involved in her thru-hike (which is sometimes belabored by endless descriptions of needing to pee, find water, make camp, etc.), the untold story fee ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really didn't love the first half or so of this book. I had a hard time understanding why she was on the CDT in the first place. After her husband headed home after a foot injury, her story and her writing got a lot more interesting, not because he was gone or he was a problem, but because her social analysis and self-awareness and confidence seemed to rise. In retrospect, I wonder how much of this view of mine is due to an honest retelling of actual events or just careful editing. ...more
carol guhne
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am 72 years old and have hiked portions of many trails in the states as well as Europe. My favorite reading is about other people's adventures.

Jennifer's experiences in the desert as well as the mountains was very exciting reading for me. Her emotional and spiritual feelings brought home many of the same experiences I have had in my life time of hiking. I felt a kindred spirit with her as I read the book. I would recommend it to anyone who has a love for hiking.
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: haveread
This was just was I was looking for: an account of someone hiking the 2400 Continental Divide trail from Montana to Mexico. It was a nice follow up to reading about someone hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was fun to read about places that she hiked that I knew well (Rand, CO and Mt. Elbert). However, she skipped telling about large portions of her hike (no mention at all about Rocky Mountain National Park?). Fun to read, though... arm-chair hiking!
In 1997, Jennifer Hanson and her husband, Greg, set off to hike the 2,400-mile Continental Divide Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada. Partway through the arduous months-long journey, Greg is sidelined by an injury. Hanson decides to continue on, hiking the remaining 900 miles by herself. The book is partly the story of a difficult yet transformational personal journey and partly a guide for others seeking to hike the trail (appendixes offer planning schedules and supply lists).
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, hiking
I loved this book. There was great practical advice, some advice that was more spiritual and didn't fill the pages with an endless history lesson regarding the history of the trail as many AT books do.

I am confused by the CDT though, I keep seeing different lengths and much of the trail seems problematic to access. I like that fact that most of it you can take pack animals with you.
Brett Anderson
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Good narrative & a good introduction to hiking in this region. I particularly liked the author's strengthened connection with nature as she spent more and more time on the trail. Full review here. ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I was so excited to read this book, and it went well for about 75%. The author has a huge problem with others who do not share her dreams & ambitions & it became tiresome. Remember the most important credo in hiking: Hike your own hike. Others may do things differently than you, and that is OK.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally well written and easy to read. Loved it.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I would love to thru hike the CDT.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Good but it needs more maps.
I enjoy this genre a great deal but the authors religiosity was a bit of a distraction for me. Thank you lord this and thank you lord that... everything that happened was according to God's plan. ...more
Sandy Hanson
Love it! Enjoyed it even more the second time around!
Mary Ellen
Interesting for hikers
Jessica Dean
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2020
Julie Flaschenriem
rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2016
Denise Huntington
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Jul 29, 2020
Nellie Todd
rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2018
Greg Bergquist
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Nov 15, 2014
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Mar 10, 2020
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Oct 02, 2013
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