A new year, a new challenge

As the new year became a reality so did my next challenge – the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). I’ve bought my AMTRAK train ticket from Austin TX to Lordsburg NM leaving April 30 and arriving May 1. I’ve made a reservation at the Lordsburg NM Econo Lodge for the evening of May 1st, and reserved a seat on the CDT shuttle to Crazy Cook for the morning of May 2nd*. Where I’ll begin my journey northward.

Although it seems that this might be a very recent decision because of this post today please know that I’ve been preparing on roads, hills and trails around Austin since this past September. Starting at 20 pounds and 40 miles per week I’ve progressed to 35 pounds and about 55 miles per week and will continue to build to 80 miles per week until next April. Since September I’ve hiked about 750 miles in and around Austin.

Also I’m getting my gear together. I’ve had my ZPacks Hexamid tent repaired with new netting, replaced my Gossamer Gear hip belt, and a bought a bunch of other stuff including a Delorme Inreach Explorer to replace my SPOT.

Naturally through these months I’ve had my doubts about whether I’m physically capable of doing another long hike. But as my daughter has told me, “It’s not real until you buy the ticket.” So the train ticket was bought today and it now looks like I’ll be doing this long hike. Wish me luck, because I know I’ll need it.

*UPDATE: I accidentally reserved for the shuttle for May 2, 2015 (last year), but have since sent them an e-mail and when the updated 2016 site hopefully I’ll be on that list. UPDATE2: Yup I’m all set and on the shuttle for May 2, 2016.