Only one week before we drive out of here and head toward New Mexico. We are still working hard with many last minutes tasks. The boxes are almost finished and ready to be taped up. It seems we have been saying that a while, but there always seems to one more item here and there that needs to be added. A well worn tire path from our drive way to Wal-Mart and back home has been established these past few weeks. Additionally, we have been cleaning up the house and getting it ready for the people who will be staying here and taking care of our two cats, five tortoises, and one fish tank of misc critters (Betta fish, frogs, sucker fish and a snail). At the moment, we do not have anyone who can stay at our house the last week of August and the next three or so weeks of September. Hopefully, we will have a solution.
Bling and Little Crow have a little more school work to finish. Bling has to do some work on solving quadratic equations, and take a biology test. Little Crow needs to finish reading “Abe Lincoln Grows Up”. Meanwhile, Mama Raven is sewing pack covers. Normally we do not use pack covers for rain, although we are going to try them out this year. Pre-made covers a range from $40-$60 each. Since there are four of us, that becomes too expensive so we decided to make our own. We found an inexpensive kit that makes very light weight covers.
We also made warm mittens for the same reason. One pair of light weight gloves cost $30-$35. Again, times that by four, and it becomes too cost prohibited. There is quiet a bit of gear that most long distant hikers use that we can only wish for such as the Neo air insulate pads. They are $160 each. We make do with our foam pads and we sleep well on them.
Papa Raven is getting our taxes done and trying to figure out how to strap the snow shoes to our backpacks. The list of tasks goes on. Nonetheless, we will be ready to go Monday whether it all gets done a not.
On Monday we will drive to Blythe for the night. Then we will drive to Papa Raven’s dad’s house, in Arizona. After staying there a day, Grandpa Raven will drive us to Lordsburg, New Mexico. In the morning we will catch a shuttle to Crazy Cooks Monument. The drive to Crazy Cooks is not gentle on cars. It is a 3 hours ride on 4-wheel drive roads. The shuttle service says “You may be requested to help dig the vehicle out of sand, help with flat tires, or deal with other vehicular issues.” Also if it had rained recently the roads could be impassable and washed out. Getting to the starting of the trail could be interesting.
There are four other thru-hikers, we know, that will be hiking the CDT this year. Each of them hiked the PCT in 2015, the same year we did. First is Rabbit, we do not have any contact information for him so we do not know where he will be or when he will start. Second is Dundee, who is starting May 1. He is a fast hiker, thus he should be able to catch up to us. The third thru-hiker is Treeman, who is from Germany; he is starting today. Treeman was with us the snowy day Bling’s femur broke He just finished the Grand Canyon’s Rim-2-Rim-2-Rim. With luck, we will catch up to him in a few weeks. The fourth hiker is our good friend Catwater from Alaska! We will have no problem encountering her, because she is starting the same day we are. In fact, she will be on the shuttle with us. Our hiking schedule lines up with hers for the first few weeks.
We can’t wait to start walking!