Friday, May 31, 2013

T-minus 3 weeks and counting

Hello and welcome! You have found the blog for my upcoming thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). A number of my friends and fellow thru-hikers from the PCT in 2011 are currently on trail heading North, and many have already put their first state (New Mexico) behind them. I am envious of those already out on the trail and am gearing up to start my adventure in the next few weeks!  I have only to complete the final week of class, take a couple final exams, and I will be done with my nursing program pre-requisites and ready to apply to nursing programs, as well as move on to this grand adventure.

For those who are unfamiliar with thru-hiking and/or the CDT, let me give you a little background on both...
The CDT is one of three popular long distance hiking trails in the good ol' US of A. The other two are the Appalachian Trail (AT), the oldest of the three located near the East Coast, and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which I had the pleasure of thru-hiking in 2011, located near the West coast. The CDT on the other hand, goes along or near the mountains that form the, you guessed it, continental divide. Water flowing down the West side of the mountains drains to the Pacific Ocean, while water falling on the East side of the mountains will end up in the Atlantic. This journey from Canada to Mexico will take me through Montana (and a little bit of Idaho), Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. This brings us to the next point of clarification ... thru-hiking.

Thru-hiking refers to completing the entirety of a trail (typically the AT, PCT, or CDT) in one hiking season. For me that means starting at the Canadian border around June 20, 2013, and completing the trek before inclement weather can stop my progress in the mountains of Colorado or New Mexico. I hope to accomplish this by October 20, 2013. All-in-all it will be about 3,000 miles from border to border, or an average of 25 miles per day! It's going to be a hoot! As Jules Renard said, "Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it." So if you are looking to add a little ridiculous to your life, look no further.

And to end the first post, how about one more quote that has been on my mind of late:

“Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons.  It is what we leave behind that is important.  I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well.  When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.”
-Sigur Olson-