I had a rather wonderful off-season from hiking but I still can’t wait to get back on trail. My winter was spent traveling a lot–Hawaii a couple of times, Florida for my first 2 visits ever, the Winter Olympics to watch my Alaska snowboarders Ryan Stassel and Rosie Mancari, Fort Smith, NWT, Canada for Arctic Winter Games, Copper Mountain, CO for USASA Nationals and California to see my step-mom and to run the Big Sur 11-miler with friends from Yosemite, Noreen and Vicky.
Somehow, during the times I was at home, I managed to break my little orange Manx cat. I had the brilliant idea for googling “running mice” while he was sitting next to my laptop. Now he is fixated on the computer and if I don’t remember to close the cover, I’ll find him walking on the keyboard trying to find the running mice video in history. I can return home after a week away and Shreddie will greet me and then lead me to the laptop and start purring and rubbing his chin on it, gazing expectantly at the screen. I think we need to get him his own desktop system and no keyboard and run the video on a loop. The damage has been done and his tiny cat brain is never going to recover. Maybe when I’m on the trail, he’ll get into a recovery program. He’s on the wait list.
My plan to complete the CDT this season includes “re-hiking” an interesting section of New Mexico to toughen up my feet and get in trail shape for the San Juans in southern Colorado, Ghost Ranch to Monarch Pass, the approximately 300 mile section I skipped last year to fly home to AK to host visitors. Then Burning Calves is flying in from Germany to hike the Colorado Trail and I’m going to meet her for the first 100 or so non-CDT miles out of Denver that will connect to the CDT near Frisco and Breckenridge. From there I’ll transit north of Dubois, WY where I left the trail and continue towards Canada. Montana got well above average snow this winter so it might make sense to head north out of Wyoming the second week of July or maybe I’ll head south from Canada back to Dubois. Sometime in July, my PCT 2015 friend Poppy will join me from Spokane! Plus, I am going to hike the PCT south out of Tuolumne Meadows in September after another volunteer work week in Yosemite. All plans are subject to change of course. It’s a lot more complicated planning a non-thru hike and figuring out transportation logistics rather than just walking north.
I’ve never done this before so bear with me. I am fundraising for Achilles International, an amazing organization I saw in action last November when I ran the NYC Marathon. It’s all about helping adaptive athletes, a group of people who have inspired me for many years, beginning with a snowboarder named Jesse ripping up the Boardercross course at USASA Nationals without legs.