This is the year I’m going to be backpacking the 485 mile Colorado Trail. I’d dreamed about it for more than half my life but things just never came together to allow me to do it without feeling irresponsible. When I first started thinking it might actually be possible this summer, I tried to not get my hopes up. As the year progressed and things started brewing, I started getting hopeful but wasn’t quite brave enough to make the decision until early April.  Then I flip flopped on the decision several times. Then I started making plans and getting everything together:  

1. Ordered the CT guide book and data book and read numerous online journals of CT thru-hikes while waiting impatiently for the 2011 versions of the books to be released.

2. Created a 6 week mileage itinerary based on my backpacking experience on east coast trails, time needed to acclimate to the altitude, distance between reliable water on the CT, and side trips to climb several 14,000 ft. mountains (fourteeners) near the trail.

3. Created a daily menu that I then compiled into a grocery list.

4. Worked out the logistics of how I was going to get there and home with my dog – no small feat.

5. Spent hours shopping online and locally for lightweight foods and gear upgrades.

6. Put drop boxes together for my 10 resupply points.

7. Started running consistently again so the first few weeks on the trail wouldn’t be so painful.

8. Packed, weighed, and unpacked my backpack ad nauseam, deciding what I absolutely couldn’t live without.

I’ve finally run out of time to obsess anymore and am in the car driving to Colorado with a running buddy, and our dogs. Looks like this trip really is going to happen. Woot! Colorado, here I come. Hope you’re ready for me.

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