This year's hiking season really hasn't gone as I've planned. My intent was to start on the Grand Enchantment Trail in Phoenix in early April and hike to the offical CDT route in the Black Range of New Mexico. Instead if started 3 weeks late from the Mexican border near Columbus, NM.
Though there have been some interesting sights, much has been similar to what I've already done and that has had a clear impact on my motivation to continue the trail. Its been great but I kinda wanted to do something different, see stuff I have not seen before. So, after Pie Town I did Trail Magic in the El Malpais national monument area with another hiker Midnight. Then spent a week exploring several national parks in Utah including Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef.Then flew home and am now in Alaska.
My plan for Alaska is to first drive down to Homer, AK just because I've wanted to go there for awhile. Then to head into Gates of the Arctic National Park (GAAR) for a couple weeks of exploring. GAAR is interesting because there are no roads leading into the park, no developed or primitive campsites, the park staff refuse to recommend interesting areas within the park to visit, it is simply an untouched wilderness to explore however I want. After a few weeks there I may attemp to fly into another park either the sand dunes in Kobuk Valley or into Glacier Bay for a handful of days. Denali National Park is also on my radar to spend atleast a week or so backpacking in a few of the backcountry units there. Lastly, on my way back into Canada I'll attempt to get a permit for the Chilkoot Trail which is a short 35ish mile hike from Alaska near Skagway into the Yukon that was often done during the gold rush.
The general plan is just to spend the rest of June and most of July in Alaska and then head south back onto the CDT. On the CDT I'll just be aiming to finish up the sections I have remaining, starting with Colorado in late July/August then southern Montana into Wyoming after that. So I should be able to wrap up the CDT as a section hike this year, its not the true-hike I plannned but I'd rather see new scenery than just push through on the CDT for the sake of a thru-hike.