Who is the Captain?

We bushwhacked twice in two days, the type where we are literally getting stuck in thick brush getting claustrophobic from being held in place by ridiculously overgrown plants.  Were we on trail? Was there a trail?  We weren’t sure but we knew something had to change.

Even on our fourth thru hike together we are still coming up with new games and strategies to make life easier on the trail. Now, someone is always captain of the shift.  That means this person, for a particular section of trail is in charge of keeping us on track, checking the maps and GPS, and generally making our navigational decisions.

We found that our current system of talking/debating decisions as they came wasn’t optimal.  We weren’t seeing the problems before they came, neither was really taking charge (or accountability), and as a result, we were bush whacking way too much.  However, for the CDT map makers and anyone thinking of doing the official route, there are spots in section 25 and 26 that were downright brutal!

So now we take turns being captain and being responsible for our navigational fates.  Will this last?  Maybe.  But today we knocked out 33 miles by 7:30 pm and feel great.  We had one minor wrong turn but otherwise the day was a glorious breeze as we have begun climbing into the big San Juan mountain range.  Starting tomorrow we will begin spending the majority of our time for the foreseeable future above 10,000′.  It is gorgeous out here and we are so fortunate to be here, especially when we get to be captain for a shift.

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