After a long, hot, dry journey across the vast expanses of Montana, Cedric spent Tuesday night at its eastern border, crossing into North Dakota during the wee hours overnight into Wednesday. This is an enormous achievement. Cedric has now walked over 1,400 miles (2250 km) in under four months; much of that distance was at elevations of about 2,000-3,000 feet (600-900 m) above sea level and, of course, always with a heavy backpack as well. Cedric has now exceeded his previous long-distance record of 1,200 miles (1930 km) covered in about five months back in 2011. This is also the first time he has had to adapt to long distances with very scarce sources of water as well as extended periods of intense heat, with daytime temperatures often hovering in the 95-105°F range (35-40°C) and sources of shade extremely few and far between. Such conditions necessitated walking for a few hours at dusk and again in the early morning, then trying to catch a few hours of sleep overnight and also during the heat of day. As Jordan Peterson likes to say, “Good luck with that!”
Cedric’s route will take him 85 miles or so across the southwestern corner of North Dakota, then he’ll have a longer trek through South Dakota. For now, it looks like the water situation should improve somewhat, at least if the maps and satellite images are any indication, but there may be some pretty dusty stretches again in South Dakota. With any luck, perhaps the temperatures will moderate a bit.
Despite the various hazards and hardships, it seems that Cedric never fails to appreciate the beauty in the landscape around him, taking particular notice of all creatures great and small. And speaking of appreciation, it’s hard to imagine how Cedric could have gotten this far without the kindness and support of so many good people, both long-time friends and those he’s only just met along the way. To each and every one of you: Thank you very much!