Optimist and Stopwatch are back!

Happy Optimist

Optimist and Stopwatch are ready to live and love the trail life once again!

Our plane to the Continental Divide Trail takes off tomorrow morning and thus kicks off our next big adventure, a thru hike of the 3018 mile CDT. This trip has been on the radar for years and after much preparation we’re excited that the adventure has finally arrived.

The trail is the third and final trail in our triple crown of US long mountain trail hikes to go along with our 2007 PCT hike and our 2011 Appalachian trail hike. While we are trail veterans at this point there is still reason to be plenty nervous about with this trail as there are plenty of new challenges to deal with. For instance, while we have had experience with black bears, grizzlies are a whole new deal. Carrying maps and staying unlost is a huge challenge. The AT and PCT were simple in this regard with essentially no route finding required. We have read that we should be prepared to be checking our maps multiple times per day in order to give ourselves the best chance of staying on trail. Towns are often more spread out and civilization is generally farther away. From all our reading and planning the CDT simply is way more unknown and untraveled and this is one of the scariest yet most alluring aspects of this trail.

We are meeting up with some super-hikers at the start of the trail so we won’t be in the hot, high desert all alone. By chance, our trail plans have us starting with trail legend Tatu joe from Southern California We hiked with him briefly on our 2007 PCT hike. We have been talking plans and logistics with him for the past 6 weeks getting ready for this. We are also hiking with a young guy named Raisins. He finished four days behind us on the AT in 2011 but since he never caught us, we never met. But he knew about us from following us on the trail and we all connected on a Facebook forum for trail nerds. So this is our starting crew and we are pumped to have them with us, even if we all split up after the first day.

We are also excited to be keeping our website updated from the trail. We have our iPad to work with and when we can get a cell signal we plan on updating our blog posts as well as our location through a cool app Julie has built into our site. We will be updating via Facebook so if you Like our Facebook page then you’ll get updates that way. Julie also built in an RSS feed option on the homepage for those that like to be updated via email. Lastly, for those that want to be involved more than virtually, we have a rough scherough schedule dule of towns with ETAs and PO box addresses should you want to send a note or a vegan treat to us on the trail.

We are super-excited and want to thank everyone for all their support. Along with our longtime friends and family our circle has grown tremendously over the past couple years of adventuring through personal experiences with traveling, racing, and adventuring, to the support we’ve received from Julie’s books, to those that cheer us on by following our adventures on Urbyville. We are sincerely grateful for all of you and for all you’ve done to enhance our life experiences. You push us and motivate us to live better and to keep adventuring on. We’ll do our best to live the trail life heroically over the next few months and to share the experience as best we can.

Lastly, as I’ve been fortunate enough to do several times now in my life, I am proud to announce the return of Optimist and Stopwatch to the trail. We love the trail life and all that it entails and starting tomorrow, we are ready to embrace it once again.

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