John "lakewood" Fegyveresi

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The NEW Colorado Trail Handbook

Yogi's New CT Handbook!

Back in 2008, following three weeks of work at the National Ice Core Lab in Denver, I had the incredible opportunity to do a rather quick thru-hike of the 485-mile Colorado Trail.  It was my first foray into the world of alpine hiking.  I hadn't ever dealt with altitudes over 7000 ft,  afternoon thunderstorms, real lightning threats, extreme night-time temps, or big river fords.  Before any sort of PCT thru-hike was even considerable, I needed to prove to myself that I could fare well through a tough, albeit shorter, mountain hike.  A CT thru-hike seemed the logical way.  I was excited, but also a bit timid.  I wasn't sure what to expect, or how I would do so "exposed" above the tree-line.

At the end of the 485-Mile Colorado Trail (2008)

At the time, there weren't a lot of resources for planning.  I used a data book published by the CT foundation, along with some pages from an old guide book.  Other than that, I pretty much just poked around on forums and asked a lot of questions on-line.  I did ok, but had kind of wished there was a better resource out there.

Fast forward two years to the summer of 2010 and I did find myself trudging through the mountains and deserts along the PCT.  For this hike, I had the luxury of a wonderful planning and town guide courtesy of Ms. Jackie McDonnell....aka...Yogi.  There's not a single hiker along the PCT that doesn't know of Yogi's books.  Her guidebook was an absolute life-saver for me.  I carried it the entire PCT and used it often to plan town-stops and for pointers on various water sources.

PCT Mile 0, with Yogi's Guide Book in side pocket

PCT Mile 2650, with Yogi's Guide Book in side pocket

Sometime last year, I received an email from Yogi asking me for input for a new Colorado Trail book she was putting together in the style of her very successful PCT and CDT books.  I happily agreed to help her out as best I could.  She forwarded me a detailed questionnaire and I did my best at filling it out.  I was in the middle of studying for my PhD candidacy at the time and it gave me a nice distraction from studying differential equations.  It was nice escaping in my Colorado Trail memories.  I sent in my finished questionnaire and pretty much forgot about it. 

Well, last week Yogi informed me that the book was finished and that she used a lot of my input.  Cool! Today in the mail, I received a full kit from her with the new planning and town guide books.  They came out really well...and I'm not just saying this because I'm featured in them (although it is pretty cool to know that perhaps some of my experiences may help others in their planning).

I don't generally outright "plug" many products on here, but I am definitely doing it now.  Thank you Yogi for what you do for helping all of us hiker trash out here with your wonderful guidebooks, town-stop cards, and planning books.  So if you are reading this, and are also planning a CT hike, think about picking up Yogi's new books.  You can get them over on her website here:   YOGI's WEBSITE.

One other thing that I would like to add.  Not only does Yogi make these wonderful resources in her free time, for all of us to use, but she also has an attitude that is so hard to find these attitude that many of us yearn for.  She is always encouraging us to "get out there" and "see the world".

I'll leave you with this bit of text that is from my own little "writing project" that maybe one day I'll put out.  It's from Chapter 4, titled: "Springer Fever"

"Once I started the planning process, I found myself digging through various trail and preparation guides. On one random evening while pouring over mountains of text, photos, and advice from previous hikers on how to plan my latest adventure properly, I came across a paragraph written by a fairly well-known thru-hiker: Jackie “Yogi” McDonnell. Yogi had compiled all of her own notes and experiences while thru-hiking the PCT several years ago, along with some comment from others, and created series of guidebooks to aid future hikers in their PCT hiking endeavors. The quote I found on this particular evening from Yogi’s book read,

'It didn't take long after thru-hiking the AT for me to realize what I had found. A different world. A world full of good things. Simplicity. Relaxation. Freedom. Self-confidence. Camaraderie. Before hiking the AT, "the trail" represented images of dirt paths, mountains, streams, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, camping stoves, etc. Mostly physical things. After returning home, I quickly realized that "the trail" represents more of a feeling. A feeling of being INVINCIBLE. I want that feeling again. I want to go back.'"

I know exactly what you mean Yogi.  Exactly.

Here are some pics from the new book.  I took them with my iTouch so they are low quality.  I have comments throughout the entire book on various tips and tricks based on my CT experience.  I hope they prove to helpful to some of you out there!  

Hike on my friends.

The full CT kit that I received today!  Thanks Yogi!
(This pic is from Yogi's Website)

My Blurb in the Planning Guide

A typical comment of mine taken from the questionnaire

My blurb at the end of the book

1 comment:

Ryan Linn said...

After the PCT, I had a bit of a grudge against Yogi's book, but I've come around to thinking that, despite my opinion on a lot of things being quite different than the opinions shared in her book, it's a really invaluable guide. Pretty cool that you got a mention in the CT book. Maybe someday I'll make my way out there :)