If you're reading this then it means it's already too late. I've officially begun the CDT.
Yes, today, Saturday, April 29, (so many commas) is the day I arrive at Crazy Cook monument in the Bootheel of New Mexico to begin my second walk across the Fragmented Provinces of Earth's Northwest Quadrant.
However, as I write this, there's still a chance to escape with will undoubtedly be the most challenging thing I've ever done – go walking every day for many days in a row. Dare I say, extreme walking?
There are still a lot of questions and concerns bouncing around in my head at this very late hour in my CDT preparation. I've procrastinated all I can by watching the entire first season of Westworld (the final episode is literally buffering as I write this) and meticulously organizing and boxing up all of the things I'm leaving behind (and the things that may need to be sent to me on the trail).
What's best for now if probably some stream of consciousness – just to get everything out there before we get this show on the road.
New Mexico seems like it should be an interesting place. The resupply stops have names like Doc Campbell's, Pie Town, and Ghost Ranch.
Is there going to be snow in Northern New Mexico? In the San Juans (a name that will likely mean a lot more to me in a little more than a month)? Am I going to need any of that snow gear that I researched? I really hope not – that stuff's expensive.
Is this Gila River place terrible or awesome? It sounds like people love the beauty but then your feet are just wet all day. Like Tasmania? Is there mud? I really hope there's no mud. What about leeches? I don't think there are leeches in New Mexico, are there?
I heard that grizzly bears are expanding their habitat, does that mean that I'm going to need bear spray in Colorado? When should I send myself my maps for Colorado? Did I put a good estimate on the resupply boxes that I am going to send out? Are they going to be at the places I send them to when they arrive? These addresses are pretty strange.
“280 Private Drive 1708”? What the hell is that?
And Colorado. Thunderstorms? What is this “getting down off the ridge” business? I don't want to be up on any ridges in storms. What, so you just expect me to scramble thousands of feet down a mountainside to escape a storm? And then hike back up afterward? That sounds awful – who wants to do that? And why are there so few maps for Colorado and New Mexico and so many for Wyoming and Montana?
Speaking of maps, the Ley maps (more on this in the future) are great, but there are nothing next to the detail of the Pacific Crest Trail Halfmile maps. A lot of people talk shit on Halfmile maps for occasionally being wrong or off about something, but they don't know (I didn't know) how good they've got it out there. Those maps are gold!
I'm a bit afraid of the map situation on the CDT, but we will see. I do have the CDT app from Atlas Guides (formerly Guthook). This app appears to be incredible for navigation and waypoints, but I have two problems. One, my phone's GPS frequently likes to crap out, and two, the app is a bit sluggish on my phone sometimes. Let's hope this all clears itself up before I find myself relying on it for my survival.
It's a good thing that my trail buddies from the PCT, Appa and Moist, are going to be out there with me. Three dummies is better than one.
And what about Wyoming and Montana? Too far to even think about now. Yeah, let's not think about those states. Hopefully, by the time I get there I will have worked off all the extra weight I put on as incentive for me to not bail on this hike. Thanks a lot, past me. I hope you enjoyed all your pizza and beer (he did).
Overall, I am incredibly excited to get this adventure underway, but I know that feeling will change quickly with the first 100°F / 38°C day or thunderstorm (or when I need to drink water out of a scummy cow shit-filled pond).
So much to look forward to in the coming months.
Should be a party.
See you on the trail.