Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Prep for the HIKE
From Kuwait, the only real planning for the Colorado Trail I could do was to read about the trail and surf the pages of REI.com for cool new gear to buy. I bookmarked a hundred pages of new gear, reviewing everything from steripens, to tens, silnylon tarp shelters, rain gear, backpacks, stoves, socks, boots and everything else I needed to blow a huge wad of cash on.
I also finally got my hands on the official guide book for planning the trail from the Colorado Trail Foundation. So I'm going through it and calculating how long it will take to get from point A to point B, and then calculating how much food we need for that part of the journey. While it isn't terribly difficult, there are tons of judgment calls and decisions that need to be made. Should we get our first resupply in Bailey or Jefferson? When we get to Leadville, should we hitch in from Tennessee Pass or push on as far as Twin Lakes? Should we have 8 resupply points or try and make do with 5? Tons of decisions! Will I make the right calls and march triumphantly into Durango ahead of schedule and under budget? Or will a flawed plan doom the whole expedition to ignominious failure and defeat?
In the end, I settled on a more conservative and traditional resupply schedule of 7 re-supplies. The vast majority of Colorado Trail thru-hikers have a similar plan and I don't feel I have the experience to know if I should modify things and develop a radical "outside the box" type of game-plan. So, the resupply schedule is going to be roughly as follows:
STOP 1. Jefferson at 60-70 miles. STOP 2. Breckenridge at 100 miles. STOP 3. Leadville at 130-150 miles. STOP 4. Buena Vista. STOP 5. Salida or Poncha Springs at nearly 300 miles. STOP 6. Creede. STOP 7. Silverton.
Now that I'm in the midst of all this planning and getting down to the "meat and potatoes" of things, I'm a lot more overwhelmed. Besides composing the critical game-plan, the other main item on the agenda included purchasing massive quantities of trail food.
Several trips to Costco, Super Target, King Supers, REI, and Wal-Mart are all yeilding tons of conflicting ideas, tough decisions, and all sorts of products that are filling up my parent's basement. I could go through this now and evaluate everything I've purchased, but I think I should wait until the hike is finished before I begin evaluating how things went.
SO... We'll see what happens!