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Where the Waters Divide: A 3,000 Mile Trek Along America's Continental Divide
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Where the Waters Divide: A 3,000 Mile Trek Along America's Continental Divide

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A tale of adventure, this is also a story of the American West and the ways in which it has been "used, crossed, inhabited, cursed, logged, grazed, and climbed." The authors write with insight about the history, environment, and politics of the region as they pass through grazing lands and reservations, mines and ghost towns, and miles and miles of wilderness. ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 17th 1997 by Countryman Press (first published 1993)
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Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love a well-written hiking memoir -- I've read about a dozen of them in the last decade, and this one is very good. Karen Berger and her husband, Daniel Smith, set out to hike 3,000 miles along America's Continental Divide, traveling from the southern edge of New Mexico all the way north to the Canadian border. They suffer through the heat of the desert, fierce thunderstorms and snowstorms, and winds so strong it nearly blew them over. But what a way to see the country! At times the areas they ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm planning my own 2013 CDT thru hike and am currently devouring maps and books like this. It is hard to believe that since 1993 , when this book was first published, thru- hiking this LONG trail was estimated to take 6-8 months. Now, hikers are making it in around 5 months. Better, lighter gear, and the knowledge that it can be done, are the reasons. Also it is much easier to obtain the maps and general information. The authors wrote hundreds of letters to rangers, supervisors, and forest serv ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was worth reading, but wasn't exactly what I hoped. While yes it did go into the trials of the hike, more time than I wanted was spent commentating on the people & politics around them (which I suppose is fine for some). There seemed to be a lot of stereotyping (New Mexico & Wyoming people - good, Colorado people - bad!) and a fair amount of bashing of people who go use the parks & trails only on the weekend (as opposed to people who can take months off to hike?). Regardless, it is certainl ...more
Dec 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hikers, environmentalists, nature lovers
The story of a 2850 mile backpacking trip along the Continental Divide trail is told by the least experienced member of the group. Her novice perspective on surviving lightning above 14,000 feet, blistering desert heat, scrambling up and down scree slopes, and becoming hopelessly lost without water makes this journey realistic, and even Sunday hikers will wonder at times whether to make a trip of their own. She describes the land beautifully, comparing and contrasting each of the four states thr ...more
Will Waller
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
While dated, this book provides an excellent look at the CDT as it was being formed in the late 80s. The writing is superb and the book moves along quickly. Few hiking "journal" books have such discussion of the legislative and jurisdictional aspects of the trail. The CDT, unlike the AT or PCT, struggles with the local landowners who are not happy with the federal jurisdiction of the trail. The residents near the CDT have not seen the financial windfall that the folks around the PCT and AT have. ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Read this one quickly, admittedly skimming over passages of historical significance on parts of the trail that I deemed uninteresting. I am much more fascinated by the planning and execution of a long-distance hike and hoped the authors would go more in depth with the tease they gave at the beginning of the book. Namely, exploring the relationship between a couple who spent the early years of their marriage in a long-distance relationship and were about to find out what life was like together (a ...more
Patti Mcconnell
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you want to know what it's like to hike from Mexico to Canada long the Continental Divide Trail - then read this book. It is from the wife's perspective and it details the deserts of New Mexico to the Gila Mountains to Denver's Front Range, back to Wyoming's desert and then the Mountains in the Wind Rivers and the cold/wind/snow of Montana and the bears of Glacier National Park.

She also tells about the history of many of their camping spots and what has taken place there previously - some of
Terri Paxson
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
I loved this book and found it highly inspiring that anyone would endeavor to hike from Mexico to Canada. Technology may make planning for this trip easier than it was back in the day....but at the end of the day you still have to put boots on the ground to make this incredible hike. I highly recommend this book if not for the inspiration alone.
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
a newly wed couple tries to walk from mexico to canada. only an ok book
I am enjoying this immensely....a vicarious hike! Did I say HIKE? Much, much more than that.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Karen Berger, author of the best-selling Hiking and Backpacking: A Trailside Guide, has hiked over 15,000 miles, including the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.

Karen Berger is a pianist on the faculty of the Berkshire Music School

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