Seven Months Later
Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
My husband and I might very well be crazy. My name is Victoria. On the trail, people know me as Little Red. We’re starting the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) on March 31st – exactly seven months after we finished the Appalachian Trail (AT) and summited Katahdin. The big blue sky and awesome view that we had dreamt about for nearly six months were obscured by clouds, but our spirits, our happiness, our overwhelming joy could not be crushed by the cold, fierce wind and thick fog that swept across the summit.
Big Spoon and Obi-Wan appeared out of the gloom with glowing faces to celebrate with hugs and congratulations. And, then we climbed onto the wet, wooden sign, stained a deep, dark brown by the sideways rain, that had motivated us every step of the way from Georgia. I kissed the Katahdin sign, and I knew in my heart that I had many, many more mountains to climb and trails to trounce.
I didn’t anticipate hiking another long-distance trail quite so quickly, but plans change as they inevitably will.
When we finished hiking the AT, we had decided to move to Colorado. First, we returned to Monson, Maine where we stayed for about six weeks at Shaw’s Hiker Hostel. The delightful proprietors, Poet and Hippie Chick, had invited us back to do a work-for-stay when we finished the trail. Then we returned to Vermont to collect the rest of our belongings from storage, and have our car inspected before heading to Colorado to begin the next chapter in our lives.
Unfortunately, the car was deemed unsafe. The bottom was completely rusted out, and the radiator was inches from the ground. Our plan to rent a U-Haul and head out west was suddenly thwarted, and we needed a new one. Plan B involved renting a truck and driving to my parent’s house in Seaside Park, New Jersey.
We were going to regroup, be responsible, and find jobs in Colorado before we moved there. We were definitely leaving by Thanksgiving; Christmas at the latest.
Then I had this crazy idea that we should just throw caution to the wind, find jobs in New Jersey, save money, and hike the Continental Divide Trail!
I took a job at Target, and Charlie worked for my parents doing landscaping and general handyman tasks. My wonderful parents kept us housed and fed, so our expenses were minimal. We’ve researched gear, read books, blogs, and articles. Basically anything we could find on the CDT.
Unlike the AT, there isn’t as much information, and apparently, we’re going to be creating our own adventure. I’ve heard that we’re leaving too early that the snow will be too deep, and we will have to flip-flop. We’re still going. The flights is booked the shuttle to Crazy Cook reserved. We’re getting dropped off on the Mexico border in the desert hoping against hope that our compass skills are adequate that our maps are accurate that we’ll survive the heat and find our water caches.
In other words, we’re both scared to death and excited as hell, so we have to go because we learned that we’re not very good at conventional, and we really miss the trail. Hope you’ll follow us on our CDT adventure.
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