Here we go...

I've found myself falling into a habit, this being my third trail. When I've come to the conclusion that a hike has been set, I order a full trail map and trail patch from the organizing body. 

It seems a bit small, and silly. But I have hiked each trail with the patch that signifies it. Anyone can purchase a patch, I feel, but not many can put the miles of wear-and-tear on it a thru-hike can. So I suppose it's my little personal badge of honor. To remind myself not only of the accomplishment, but of the journey taken to reach that accomplishment.

Well, it seems like the Continental Divide Trail is now official. 

I've ordered, and received, my map and patch thanks to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

 

While playing around, I figured I would line up the CDT patch with the other two on my pack. Seeing these three patches together sparked a fire inside of me. The excitement, the fear, the impossibility of knowing what lays ahead. The CDT is real. And so too, is my journey along it.

This, for me, was the flipping of the switch. It's no longer if and when, but it has now, when and how. I don't know all the details of how I will embark on this journey. Where will my belongings go? My car and motorcycle? How will I afford all my student loans and bills that continue even when I am not working?

All questions that will have answers to them. But for now, the commitment has been made. Which comes with my apologies as you will continue to hear all my rambles while I prepare (or rather, foam at the mouth as I helplessly watch the days melt by!).

Here we go! An 8-year, 8,000-mile journey culminates shortly (comparatively) .